New Yorkers Last Longer

New York is a healthy place to live – that may come as a surprise to people who remember New York being a cesspool of yesteryear. New York amgazine has an article on why New Yorkers last longer and how as whole New York breeds a healthy lifestyle.

Things Are Good readers should know that cities as a whole are becoming more attractive to live in for health reasons. The more urban the better. Cities are more walkable than suburban and rural areas and they provide more opportunities for innovation and progress.

From the New York magazine article:

The health difference was shockingly large: A white man who lived in a more urban, mixed-use area was fully ten pounds lighter than a demographically identical guy who lived in a sprawling suburb.

Interestingly, urban theorists believe it is not just the tightly packed nature of the city but also its social and economic density that has life-giving properties. When you’re jammed, sardinelike, up against your neighbors, it’s not hard to find a community of people who support you—friends or ethnic peers—and this strongly correlates with better health and a longer life. Then there are economies of scale: A big city has bigger hospitals that can afford better equipment—the future of medicine arrives here first. We also tend to enjoy healthier food options, since demanding foodies (vegetarians and the like) are aggregated in one place, making it a mecca for farm-fresh produce and top-quality fish, chicken, and beef. There’s also a richer cultural scene than in a small town, which helps keep people out and about and thus mentally stimulated.

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