Published on October 16th, 2012 | by No Artificial
Like Your Neighborhood? What It Means For Your Health
If you love where you live, you’re probably healthy.
The new Gallup poll found that people who like their community, or who think that their local community is improving, report better physical health than people who don’t like their neighborhood.
“These findings provide support for the ecological model of health, which suggests that one’s living conditions, community safety, community development, and civic engagement, among other factors, affect community members’ health outcomes,” the researchers stated. “The relationship between community-level perspectives and physical health may have significant implications for urban planning and community improvement efforts, particularly in light of the increase in cardiovascular disease and obesity over the past decade.”
The study results are based on telephone surveys of 353,492 people ages 18 and older throughout the United States.
People who reported that they were satisfied with their area of residence scored a 78 on Gallup’s physical health index, compared with 69.1 by people who said they were unhappy with their area of residence.
People who described that their communities are becoming better places had the same advantages over people who felt their towns were going downhill. Feeling positive about your local community’s future also decreases your chances of ever having been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
Furthermore, fewer people who claimed they were happy with their cities reported particular health-related issues than those who said they are dissatisfied — even when taking into consideration significant factors like income, education and ethnicity, researchers observed.
In addition, Gallup finds that people who feel safe while walking alone at night in the city or area where they live are in better physical health than those who do not feel safe doing so. Also, those who say they have easy access to a safe place to exercise in the city or their neighborhood are in better physical health than those who don’t.