Do you want to live in New York City? How about Chicago? Los Angeles? These are some of the most popular and well-known cities in the United States. Many aspire to visit, if not live in, one of these cities. However, the environment you choose to live in may affect your life in ways you may not realize, as shown by several studies. Location determines many factors of daily life, including exposure to pollution, social and economic conditions, and the type of neighborhood you choose to live in. These factors ultimately have an effect on your health.
Pollution is an unfortunate byproduct of today’s industrialized world. In fact, some cities, such as Los Angeles, are well-known for their pollution. Francine Laden, a professor of Environmental Epidemiology at Harvard, and her research group have found a strong link between pollution and health. Research has shown that a higher number of pollutants is correlated with higher mortality rates. These pollutants in the air that have been shown to increase risks of cancer, cognitive decline, heart disease, and more.
Image Source: Jakkree Thampitakkull
Social and economic conditions can also affect the quality of life and as a result, your overall health. Neighborhoods with smoke-free laws, access to fresh, organic foods, and safe places for children to play lead to healthier communities overall. Reduction of smoking leads to lower pollution and less secondhand smoke. Studies show that living near a supermarket results in better lifestyles, as families have access to fresh, organic foods. On the other hand, proximity to small convenient stores, which usually lack fresh produce, has been linked to more obesity.
The type of neighborhood also affects the actions of children and influences teenagers. In a close-knit neighborhood, children are less likely to to engage in damaging behaviors like drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Conversely, neighborhoods with less interaction with others have shown to be correlated with higher levels of anxiety and depression.
Your living conditions can affect your health greatly. To know more about the life expectancy of the average person residing where you live now, check out this website. If you’re planning on moving any time soon, it might be wise to do some research on the location of your future home, especially if it’s a permanent move.
Feature Image Source: New York city by M.Bob