Where you live, not just in the world, but the area of your country might be affecting your health, says a new study out of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (https://brighterworld.mcmaster.ca/articles/your-postal-code-may-influence-your-health/).
It could affect your chances of developing diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, said the research that was published in Scientific Journal Cities and Health.
Though perhaps not rocket science, it’s interesting stuff to consider how environmental factors you might take for granted, or simply don’t realize you don’t have, are making you either healthier or less healthy.
This study specifically looked at environmental factors in the north, south, east and west in Canada, as well as it compared urban and rural communities. Some of the factors it considered included access to public transportation, the variety of fruits and vegetables available in a specific region, the price of food, the availability and price of booze and cigarettes, as well as advertising (or lack of) for healthy foods.
The result: Those who live in rural areas tend to suffer from poorer health than people in cities. One reason is that food prices tend to be higher and the variety of fruits and vegetables lower. Not only that, the research also discovered nutritional information on foods is less available (28 percent less available) in rural than city restaurants.
Perhaps not a surprise, but those living in the north in Canada, where more remote communities tend to exist, suffer from even poorer health than those in the south.
This study certainly isn’t the first of its kind. There has been much research done about how where you live affects not just your health, but also your happiness.
Now it might not be practical to just get up and move tomorrow, here are three other factors worth considering in terms of your health and well-being.
1. Climate temperature
While some people don’t experience the winter blues if they live in a wintery city, others do. It’s a real thing and it can actually affect various hormone levels in your body, as well as how your body is functioning. And on the flipside, some people don’t do well with tons of heat. In this case, it’s probably best not to move to the Outback in Australia.
So at the very least, even if you can’t pack up and move to Grand Cayman any time soon, it’s worth it to plan your vacations around this factor to ensure you get some Vitamin D during the dark winter months in your hometown.
Humidity affects us all differently. Some people’s bodies require a hot, dry climate, while others find this troubling to the point that it’s even hard for them to breathe properly. These people tend to require more humidity. If this is you, consider a humidifier in your home and see how you feel.
We all know altitude affects our breathing. If you live at sea level and have ever traveled and worked out at high altitude, you probably realized how difficult it was to catch your breath, hence the whole concept of endurance athletes training at altitude so their bodies adapt.
But did you know altitude can also affect things like blood pressure and water retention. Some people, for example, feel much better and healthier when they’re at sea level. Just something to consider…
Even if you’re not about to pack up and move to a new city with your body’s perfect altitude, climate and humidity level, it’s worth it to become conscious of where you feel best. Of where your body and mind thrive. At the very least, you can then take steps such as investing in a humidifier or taking vacations in the rainy, cold season at home.