You probably hate visiting the small town you grew up in, but here’s a list of reasons why living in a city is not the greatest option for you, in terms of health.
FOMO, or “Fear of missing out,” refers to a particular kind of anxiety that social media users feel when they spend a certain amount of time without checking their timelines, dashboards, or notifications. It basically means that we can’t stand to be away from our phones or computers for too long. This fear comes from the belief that a lot is going on all the time and modern society pressures us to be constantly updated. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we actually know what’s going on in the world when we have Internet access. It just means we’re aware of the life and death of most memes. FOMO, when it comes to social media, is very similar to the fear of missing out on city life.
We want to be in the middle of everything. We want to go to every concert and be present at every social event. If you live in the city, you probably hate visiting the small town you grew up in. And if you live in a small town, you probably want to move to the city, or you’re desperate to go there as often as possible. In case you want to feel better about living in a town where there’s only one mall, or if you’re thinking about moving to the mountains to meditate, here’s a list of reasons why living in a city is not the greatest option you have in terms of health.
People who live in cities are more likely to suffer from diabetes
Sooner or later, the constant rush of living in a city will change your eating habits. Maybe you have a job that demands a lot of time and attention from you. So now you have less time to buy, cook, and prepare your food. The easier solution might be to buy your meals at some place near your office. Not a big deal, right? Add the fact that you now have less time to exercise, and most of the affordable options are fast-food outlets. It will definitely affect your health in the long run. That's why diabetes is considered a big health risk in urban areas. Figures from the International Diabetes Federation show that, globally, there were over 300 million people suffering from diabetes in 2014.
Air pollution will negatively affect your health in multiple ways
Even if you manage to sustain your healthy eating habits and workout routine, just being in a city might make you sick. Living in a city increases the risk of stroke, cognitive decline, and cardiovascular and pulmonary problems due to the pollution generated by diesel fuel. If you still think the excitement of the city is worth the risk, think about a survey from the London School of Economics that shows “life satisfaction” falls significantly when the air pollution increases.
Cities are bad for your mental health
A study from the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim found a considerable increase of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia for people who live in cities. Psychological stress is less common in rural areas, which sounds pretty obvious if you’ve ever spent time in a big, chaotic city. If you ever feel bored in a small town and you think that’s psychologically stressful, consider these statistics.
The city’s noise won’t let you rest
You might be a heavy sleeper, but the lack of silence in the city will wear you down at some point. Ambulances, car horns, police sirens, traffic and the noise of crowds. Every noise in the city can cause stress, which has negative effects on our health as well. A 2015 study made in London shows an increase in mortality when noise levels are high. No matter how much you love the noise, eventually you’ll need silence.
Cities will always be attractive, but we shouldn’t mistake “life” with “city life.” Thinking that the exciting life we want is always happening in a big city makes no sense. There will always be a bigger and more exciting place to be. We should try, for once, to enjoy the place where we are.
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Images by Jerry Maestas.