People who live in rural areas live longer than people who reside in urban areas, according to multiple studies. One study found that rural less sparse areas boosted lifespan to 78.6 years for men, while women had the longest lifespan in sparse rural locations (82.7 years). The country is well-known for its clean air, proximity to nature, and outdoor opportunities. But, just what impact do these things have on people’s health and wellbeing?
Fewer health conditions
Rural air is cleaner than it is in urban areas. There’s a lot less traffic, congestion, and buildings which is why the air is better quality. Poor air quality causes health problems, including cancer, lung disease, respiratory issues, and heart disease. It’s also thought that the trees, grass, and green matter in the country positively impact the quality of the air. The country can even protect against asthma – a condition which 1 in 13 Americans currently have. Research has found the prevalence of asthma in small urban locations to be 21.5%, while in rural areas it’s 15.1%.
Fitter & healthier
There are a lot of outdoor activities available in the country and this is beneficial for health and fitness levels. Youths who live in rural areas are particularly more mobile than urban youths, with one study finding their cardiorespiratory fitness was higher. Long walks are common in the country and contribute to stronger bones and muscles, weight loss, and lower blood pressure. Walking trails, nature trails, and hiking trails are commonly found in the country, including in Texas Hill Country. In Panhandle, there’s the Big Country Loop and Caliche Loop. While in the North East of the area, Fortworth is home to Eagle Mountain Lake Park Trail. If you want to enjoy long walks in the region then you may wish to invest in a property in Blanco County, Travis County, or Hays County. Other good rural locations with great walking routes across the U.S. include Benton City in Washington, Gerlach in Nevada, and Wallace in Idaho.
Better mental health
People living in cities are 40% more likely to get depression and 20% more likely to have anxiety than individuals who choose to live in the country. There are lots of different reasons why country folk have better mental health than those who live in the city. In the country, there’s a much slower pace of life compared to the city. Science has also concluded that spending time around nature improves mental health and reduces negative emotions, including worry, anger, and stress. Just 120-minutes is enough to improve your health and well-being, according to a 2019 research paper. It’s also argued that urban locations over-stimulate the brain, making mental health disorders more likely. Thankfully, in the country, you’re less likely to experience this.
The country is a great place to live. It’s usually quieter, cheaper, and safer to live in a rural area. But, one of the biggest benefits is the positive impact it can have on your health.