Health is wealth, and health is happiness. That must be the formula the cities in this list follow that help set them apart from the rest of the world. The innovation and leadership behind these cities bring them to the forefront of promoting a healthier lifestyle. Better quality health-care, less air-pollution and convenient access to nutritious food and public transportation are just some of things they offer that make a great difference. So, if you’re a health freak, pollutionphob, or you just want great health care, consider moving to one of these places. Here are the top 10 healthiest cities that are doing it right, right now:
Working long hours can take a toll on your health. That’s why in Copenhagen, less than 2 percent of the employed population work more than 40 hours a week. Instead, they’re filling up their time spending it with family and friends. To encourage community participation, the city also offers yoga classes, basket weaving and other activities for free.
The life expectancy in Okinawa is an impressive 13 years longer when compared to the world-wide average. On top of that, they also have the largest concentration of centenarians in the world. That must mean they’re doing something right. Like the lifestyle of Okinawa’s majority, they’re secret to their health is based on tradition. This means they can credit regular exercise and a healthy diet of colorful vegetables for source of their well-being.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monte Carlo has the world’s lowest infant-mortality rate, an average of 1.81 deaths per 1,000 live births. The reason behind this, is the city’s dedication to providing quality health care, especially during pregnancy. This includes comprehensive coverage, a clean delivery area and immediate post-natal care. Of course, it also helps that Monaco’s wealth can afford all of these resources.
Having miles and miles of bike lanes is one of the reasons why Vancouver has some of the cleanest air in the world. Another reason is the city’s strong public transportation system which helps eliminate the need for cars, meaning less pollutants emitted into the air. This is good news to Vancouver’s population, since breathing in pollution has been proven to shorten an individual’s life span.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Melbourne is the “most liveable city in the world.” What exactly are the reasons behind the city’s livability factor? Low crime rates, excellent health-care, first-rate education, and a tolerance for diversity are some of the ways Melbourne is outshining other cities. The agreeable weather and oceanside location doesn’t hurt either.
New York, U.S.
Our own Big Apple is on the rise to becoming one of the cities with the least amount of smokers. This is all due to the aggressive determination to prohibit smoking in the workplace and most bars and restaurants. The ban proved to extinguish some of the city’s hankering for cigarettes, dropping the number of reported adult smokers by 28 percent since 2002.
Esther, an aging and ailing woman living in Jonkoping, is the main reason why the city ranks high for elderly care. The 88 year-old, woman, although imaginary, inspired health and government administrators to create the Esther Project. The system uses Esther as a model to test out theoretical situations to help improve and streamline a program of care for the elderly.
While much of the country is in poverty, it’s interesting to point out that the average life expectancy is the same as U.S., and the infant-mortality rate is even better than many countries including America. The reason for this is Havana’s effective preventative care system where almost 100 percent of the population are being vaccinated and screened regularly.
If you consider that Singapore spends less on health care than any other country, it seems surprising that they would have the most efficient health-care system in the world. What are they doing differently? The government controls the insurance companies and every citizen is required to participate in Medisave, a program that guarantees each individual will save enough money to cover future expenses. In addition, residents also receive health care allowance based on income level.
Napa might be known for its wine, but in recent years, wine country has been offering much more than reds and whites. There’s a growing number of places growing local food, and an increase in bike trails. The city offers a small-town feel, where the community is much more engaged with one another and creates a happier environment.