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If you are thinking of making a healthy move and don’t want to give up the excitement and diversity of city-life – then check out our healthiest cities in the world list.

Being healthy is not just about what you put in your body, it’s closely related to where you live in the world. The idea of a healthy city sounds like an unlikely paradox, but it’s quickly becoming a reality. City leaders are implementing laws and policies that ensure residents have access to high quality health care, green spaces, organic food and a range of health programs.

The popular belief has always been that you have to move to a rural area to lead a healthy lifestyle, but that idea is changing. Cities are becoming the places that inspire good health.

Copenhagen

 

Copenhagen is an energetic city full of young professionals and families but according to an OECD report, just 2% of employees in the city work 40 hours a week.

The spare time enables them to spend time with family, hobbies or the government funded sports in the community programs. The cost of joining community programs is completely free and open to everyone. The activities range from hot yoga to netball in the park.

Outdoor food markets with fresh fruit and vegetables are found dotted around the city and with 249 miles of bike paths, many opt to cycle to work instead of commute.

In Denmark the ability to balance working life with family life has been found to have a direct link to health and well-being. According to the world happiness report, Denmark holds the first place as the happiest nation.

As if all of that isn’t enough to make you want to pack your bags for Denmark, by late 2015 all residents must be able to reach a park or beach by foot in less than 15 minutes, according to a new official municipal policy.

 

Vancouver

With over a hundred parks and miles of bike lanes, Vancouver has gained the reputation as being the most walkable city in Canada.

The cycle culture and lack of cars on the road is one of the reason’s the city has some of the cleanest air in the world.

Businesses have to abide by strict environmental standards and the combination of evergreen forests and ocean breezes helps to contribute to the clean and relatively pollution free air.

Air quality is a good indicator for health in any city, says Janice Nolen, assistant vice president for national policy at the American Lung Association. “Pollution can kill people, it can shorten lives by days to months.”

In 2011, Vancouver adopted the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, which aims to make the Canadian metro area the most environmentally friendly city in the world.

New York

Many would not associate the land of yellow taxi’s and sky scrapers with health, but if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke then the big apple could be the ideal place for you.

Almost twenty years ago, the workplace smoking ban was brought in to action. In 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg extended the smoking ban to include all bars and restaurants. in 2011 the bill was extended to include all city parks.

A survey by the city’s health department found that from 2002 to 2012, the number of adult residents who reported smoking declined by 28%.

According to health officials even people exposed to low levels of second hand smoke can develop the same lung problems seen in regular smokers.

 

Singapore

 

The health care system in Singapore is ranked as one of the best in the world, with the city-state’s public health-care program used by 80% of residents.

Housing, water, food, air quality, road traffic and parks are all considered to be important parts of the health system and each has been given a great deal of attention by the government.

Free Health programs have been developed to pay attention to the needs of the city residents. Some of the most successful health campaigns have included free rental bicycle’s and anti-smoking programs. The government’s Health Promotion Board is dedicated to promoting healthy diets, exercise, health education and regular screenings.

Okinawa

If you want to live a long life, the Japanese city Okinawa could be the place for you. It is home to the longest-living population in the world. The life expectancy for women in Okinawa is almost 10 years longer than the average life expectancy for men and women worldwide.

A culture of routine of exercise and a healthy diet of green vegetables, sweet potatoes, soy and fish is the reason why major diseases, including cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes are low.

Depression and loneliness in the region is also minimal. The city thrives on social connections which are said to create an environment of low stress, strong family bonds and optimism

 

Melbourne

The peachy paradise of Melbourne is known for being one of the healthiest cities in the world. For the fourth year in a row, the Australian city was named the most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit .

Some of the reasons Melbourne topped the list include low crime rates; excellent health care and education; tolerance of different ethnicities, religions and lifestyles; and a bounty of cultural and sporting activities such as tennis’ Australian Open.

Affordable housing, a thriving jobs market and great weather all combine to make it a place where families and young professionals can lead a healthy life.


If you would like to find out more information about our healthiest cities in the world head over to our destination guides.

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