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The Health Benefits of Living a Small-town Life


Where should we settle down with our families—in the city or in a small town? This is one of the endless debates that we are going through. Urban life and rural life each have their own ups and downs. They have their own advantages that the other could never offer. And when we debate, we have a myriad of concerns. Are there enough career opportunities? Are the schools for our children good? Are there a lot of parks and other recreational places we could enjoy?

But there’s one question that we don’t usually ask when we’re trying to decide where to live. Is it good for our health? It’s common knowledge that our environment has much impact on our health. Unfortunately, we have the tendency to forget that when we’re deciding on where to live. The good thing is that evidence has shown that living in a small town can make a positive impact on our health. Here’s how. So the next time we visit real estate websites like, we can take these health impacts into consideration.

Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

It’s no secret that living an urban life is much more stressful than living in a small town. People don’t have to deal with jam-packed subway rides as they rush to work. They don’t have much problem with constant traffic noise just as they were trying to sleep. And they don’t have to deal with large groups of tourists on a daily basis.

This is why a couple of Dutch researchers found that there’s a higher rate of mental health illness in people who live in cities than people who live in small towns. The results of their research show that urban citizens have a 21 percent higher chance of developing anxiety. They also have a 39 percent higher chance of developing mood disorders.

So if we have a history of mental health illness or we just want to be cautious, then it might be good for us to strongly consider settling down in a small town.

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

We all know the factors that could lead to many types of heart diseases. The biggest threat is our lifestyle. The food that we eat and the exercises we do (or lack thereof) have much impact on our hearts. The same goes for our family history. Many of us have higher risks because our parents and grandparents have the same disease. But another factor is our environment.

This is what prompted a group of doctors and researchers to study the impact of urban life on the health of our hearts. Published in the European Heart Journal, the study found that living with constant traffic noise and air pollution increases the risk of heart diseases. Such forms of pollution have an impact on our blood chemistry—which, in turn, would affect the health of our hearts.

No one wants to develop any heart disease, that much is true. The good thing is that small towns don’t have much problem with noise and air pollution.

Access to Healthier Food

We’ve all heard of the buzzwords, “farm-to-table food.” It’s a form of luxury in itself because we rarely get the chance to eat food that didn’t go through processing, packaging, delivery, etc. before it reaches our table. Fortunately, many restaurants in cities offer farm-to-table services. And many people enjoy them. But, as a luxury, they come with a price—sometimes, a hefty price.

But if we live in a small town, farm-to-table food is not a luxury, it’s the norm. And because we would have more access to healthy food that we know for sure where it came from, it would be easier for us to maintain a healthier diet. And that, of course, would have a positive impact on our health.

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Less Exposure to All Kinds of Pollution

Because small towns have fewer people and infrastructure, people have less exposure to all kinds of pollution. They won’t have to deal with traffic noise that goes on at all hours of the day and night. They aren’t concerned with the exhaust that’s constantly billowing in the air. They don’t even have to deal with much littering.

As talked about earlier, our environment has much impact on our health. So it’s great that small towns could help with lowering the exposure to pollution.

Living in the city has its perks. We can’t deny that fact. No matter what your choice of career is, you might have a better chance at pursuing it in a city. There’s also energetic nightlife in the city, so it’s perfect for young adults.

But living in a small town has its own perks as well. And the biggest positive impact on our health. So the next time we try to decide on where to live, we can take that into major consideration.

Villa Hope Content Team

Villa Hope Content Team

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