Families and individuals often find themselves questioning where they should be living, in the city or in the country. The question of whether urban living is better or worse than rural living involves a number of issues and factors, but the bottom line is choosing a place to live that provides the best quality of life for that family or individual.
When considering whether to live in an urban or rural area, health and wellness is always a top concern. It is a medical fact that living in certain environments and under certain circumstances can directly and indirectly affect one’s health and wellbeing, so trying to determine which environment would be the best is not only about finding a home that makes one happy but also what makes one healthy. This article will take a look at the various benefits of living in both urban homes and rural homes.
Urban home advantages
Living in an urban environment means living with high levels of noise, activity and environmental pollution. Urban environments can have higher incidence of crime, large class sizes in schools and a lower ratio of available jobs to unemployed job seekers. However, there are a number of positive factors that make living in an urban home advantageous.
Urban living offers its residents diversity and choice, two factors that can greatly contribute to improved quality of life for an individual or family living there. For example, urban areas are characterized by a great diversity in cultures and ethnicities, with unique neighborhood enclaves featuring clothing, food and cultural events. The opportunity to consume a variety of natural foods, unique dishes, herbs and spices will encourage healthier eating and healthier lifestyles, while enjoying the many ethnic fairs and cultural events that occur in these neighborhoods offers local residents the opportunity to learn new things and meet new and interesting people.
Urban living is frequently communal, though social interactions may be limited to some extent. Urban communities center on the neighborhood, whether it is a block of apartment buildings or a high-rise complex of flats, and the residents and businesses in that neighborhood are a part of that community. It is not unusual for residents to be on a first-name basis with a local store owner or pharmacist. Many of these living communities will offer amenities to promote health and wellness among the residents such as fitness programs, organized excursions and even clubs and organizations for residents to enjoy each other’s company and put the day’s stress aside.
Urban areas also offer almost unlimited access to social events, entertainment and cultural events. Residents have the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and classes in a variety of circumstances, increasing their level of culture and improve their quality of life. Urban centers also offer a wider range of educational and employment options, providing residents with opportunities and alleviating stress by making it possible to achieve goals more easily. Urban areas offer a greater access to healthcare services, giving residents greater ability to manage their health with the assistance of medical staff, and they place greater emphasis on walking as a way to get around, encouraging basic fitness and consequently improvement in general health and wellbeing.
Rural home advantages
Living in a rural area may not offer the diversity and choice that living in an urban center does, but rural living definitely has its own noteworthy advantages and health benefits. Stress can be one of the greatest strains on the quality of life for an individual, bringing on illness, depression and other health issues. The absence of urban stressors such as traffic jams, high crime rates, and long lines is one of the most appealing aspects of rural living.
Another important aspect of rural living involves the development and fostering of personal relationships. While urban living provides access to a greater variety of social networks and networking opportunities, rural personal relationships tend to be more personal and long lasting; it is not unusual for rural residents to begin school together and continue to be friends until graduation from high school and beyond.
Personalized education is another positive aspect of rural living. Rural schools usually have smaller class sizes, allowing teachers to focus more on individual students, and allowing those students to focus more on their own personal potential and not simple competing with the masses.
Nutrition is another advantage to living in rural areas. Rural areas have more immediate access to fresh fruits and vegetables as well as more direct access to organic products. While the amount of available fine dining options may be low, restaurants and grocers may offer freshly picked produce, often on the same day it was picked, and meat and dairy products are also available freshly butchered and even unprocessed.
The greatest health advantage for rural living is environmental. Rural areas are usually far from the smog and pollution of urban areas, offering clean, fresh air and plenty of open green spaces. Being in the fresh air outdoors is not only of advantage for physical health but also mental health. Fresh air and open spaces have a positive effect on the mental state of an individual, reducing stress that can do damage to the physical body when left unchecked. Unchecked stress can lead to weight gain and even the development of cardiac illnesses and ailments. Spending time in the outdoors allows one to decompress, clearing the head and refreshing the body.
Urban living vs. rural living
After comparing the two modes of living, their pros and cons, it is easy to see that both urban and rural homes have health benefits and health disadvantages. While urban living offers superior access to employment, healthcare, education options and cultural diversity, rural living offers residents a greater opportunity to connect with other people and to be more directly connected with nature. Both living areas offer high degrees of socialization, though the manner and personal quality of those interactions are less formal and more intimate in a rural environment.