Our environment and surrounding living spaces has a profound effect on our health, overall wellness, and spirit. Not surprisingly, studies have been conducted to research the overall advantages and disadvantages of living in the city vs. the suburbs. Even though there are clear black and white results, the impacts and effects on health in comparing the two environments are especially different.
Health Effects of the city living and suburbia living both have their negative points. Living in the city has been shown to result in greater exercise, since most restaurants, bars, attractions, and other businesses are within close walking distances. In bigger cities, walking may be the only choice you have as a downtown resident. Pedestrian oriented developments have far better health effects than living in the suburbs, where everything must be reach by driving a car. Even though city dwellers get more exercise and movement, the issue of air pollution can get pretty bad, especially in dense areas and cities. This of course has adverse health effects and can lead to ailments including breathing problems, bronchitis, and even lead to long term lung and heart problems. Therefore, most families with young children prefer to live in the suburbs, away from such dense air pollution and hustle bustle of downtown living.
However, suburban living also has its health related issues. Although the air quality is considerably cleaner due to less traffic congestion, business activity, and lower density, suburban areas are a far distance away from everything else in the city since they are on the outskirts of town. Longer commutes affect your health adversely in a number of ways. For example, if you have to spend long times driving, you have less time for other activities such as exercising, cooking your own meals, and spending quality time with your loved ones. Although economically, living in the suburbs may be more cost effective, you end up paying far more on gas for your long commutes. Long driving times also affect your health adversely due to stress and higher chances of getting stuck in traffic. Most importantly, more time in your car indirectly leads to weight gains and just general lack of physical bodily movement and fitness. As you spend more time on the road and less time at home, you may be more prone to eating fast food and takeaway dinners rather than actually cooking. This too, affects health adversely since you have no idea what is in these meals in terms of nutrition and calories.