New study reveals the best cities to live a healthy and happy life

Living a long and healthy life is highly influenced by environmental factors, such as diet and lifestyle. A recent study confirmed the impact of five lifestyle habits, such as smoking, physical activity, alcohol intake, body weight, and diet, on both total life expectancy and chronic diseases.

But how to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

To determine the best places to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle, Lenstore has analysed 44 global cities across 10 metrics ranging from sunshine hours to the average cost of a gym membership.

Once again, Amsterdam ranks at the top of the best cities to live a healthy and happy life

Here, the top 11 healthiest cities: rating by City / Average life expectancy / Happiness level

1 Amsterdam / 81.2 / 7.44

Amsterdam ranks as the number one location for leading a healthy lifestyle across all 44 cities. Known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, it’s perhaps no surprise the Dutch capital comes out on top. With over 400 outdoor activities to keep you fit and healthy, and ranking as the 5th happiest country in the world, as well as the 6th best country in Europe for obesity levels at just 20.4% (nearly 10% less compared to London at 27.8%), living in this picturesque city is the top destination for leading a healthy lifestyle.

  • Sunshine hours1,858
  • Annual avg hours worked1,434
  • Happiness levels7.44
  • Outdoor activities422

2 Sydney / 82.1 / 7.22

Sydney experiences 2,636 hours of sunshine hours per year, attracting tourists to the famous Bondi beach, but also giving you more than enough time to take advantage of the 406 outdoor activities. This outweighs the relatively high monthly gym membership cost of £42 and with a life expectancy of 82 years, perhaps outdoor fitness is the way to go.

  • Sunshine hours2,636
  • Annual avg hours worked1,712
  • Happiness levels7.22
  • Outdoor activities406

3 Vienna / 81 / 7.29

Well known for its cultural impact, Vienna not only lets you soak up culture from artwork, music and architecture, but it also offers the opportunity to lead a healthy lifestyle. With an average gym membership costing around £26 per month (nearly half the cost than in Sydney), and the fifth lowest levels of obesity in Europe at 20.1%, the Austrian capital is the perfect destination to lead a healthier life.

Vienna’s pollution level is also one of the lowest of all cities analysed at 17.33 (out of 100), which is over four times lower than the likes of Beijing with a pollution score of 85.43 (out of 100) and three times lower than Barcelona, Paris and London.

  • Sunshine hours1,884
  • Annual avg hours worked1,501
  • Happiness levels7.29
  • Outdoor activities132

4 Stockholm / 81.8 / 7.35

When looking at the metric for the total number of hours worked per year, Stockholm ranks in 4th position at 1,452 hours (30.25 hours per week), offering more opportunity for a better work-life balance. Taking into consideration other metrics such as its low level of pollution (20/100) and general happiness throughout the city (7/10), Stockholm ranks in 4th position overall.

  • Sunshine hours1,821
  • Annual avg hours worked1,452
  • Happiness levels7.35
  • Outdoor activities129

5 Copenhagen / 79.8 / 7.64

Known as one of the happiest cities in the world (ranking second, beaten only by Helsinki in our research), Copenhagen rounds off our top five healthiest places to live in the world.

If you’re looking for the ultimate work-life balance, Copenhagen is the destination for you. It has the lowest working hours per year of all cities at 1,380 (28.75 hours per week). And for those that want to breathe in fresh air, the Danish capital ranks as the city with the fifth cleanest air, with a pollution score of 21.24 (out of 100).

However living in Copenhagen doesn’t come cheap. It ranks in third position for the highest cost of a bottle of water at £2.19, outweighing both New York (£1.32) and London (£1.16).

  • Sunshine hours1,630
  • Annual avg hours worked1,380
  • Happiness levels7.64
  • Outdoor activities154

6 Helsinki / 80.4 / 7.80

Ranking as the happiest city, Helsinki has the lowest pollution score of all cities at 13.08/100. It also features in the top 10 when looking at just the lowest number of yearly working hours. With the happiest citizens, clean air and a healthy work-life balance, Helsinki’s number six position is well deserved.

  • Sunshine hours1,662
  • Annual avg hours worked1,540
  • Happiness levels7.80
  • Outdoor activities113

7 Fukuoka / 83.2 / 5.87

Located in the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island, Fukuoka is probably best known for its food, but its ability to lead a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t go overlooked. With a bottle of water costing just £0.78, it’s easy to ensure you’re drinking the recommended 2 litres a day even on the move. The city also has the highest life expectancy at 83.2 years of all 44 locations.

  • Sunshine hours2,769
  • Annual avg hours worked1,644
  • Happiness levels5.87
  • Outdoor activities35

8 Berlin / 80.6 / 7.07

Another city steeped in culture, Berlin’s average life expectancy is 80.6 years, which may be supported by its relatively cheap average monthly gym membership at £26.11 – third cheapest in Europe. Germany’s capital also has lots of opportunity to get out in the fresh air with the fifth highest number of outdoor activities in Europe at 254 and the ninth lowest pollution levels in Europe.

  • Sunshine hours1,626
  • Annual avg hours worked1,386
  • Happiness levels7.07
  • Outdoor activities254

9 Barcelona / 82.2 / 6.40

Whilst Barcelona is one of Europe’s most visited cities, it’s also in the top 10 for healthy living. Barcelona takes the top spot for the number of outdoor activities with over 580 – which is great when paired with its 2,591 sunshine hours.

  • Sunshine hours2,591
  • Annual avg hours worked1,686
  • Happiness levels6.40
  • Outdoor activities585

10 Vancouver / 81.70 / 7.23

Vancouver is famous for offering every kind of outdoor sport and adventure, pioneering health and fitness. With an average life expectancy of 81.7 years, a relatively low pollution score (24/100) and happy residents (7/10), Vancouver rounds off our top 10 locations for living a healthy lifestyle.

  • Sunshine hours1,938
  • Annual avg hours worked1,670
  • Happiness levels7.23
  • Outdoor activities218

11 Melbourne / 82.10 / 7.22

  • Sunshine Hour
        2,363
  • Annual avg hours worked

        1,712

  • Happiness levels

        7.22

  • Outdoor activities

        243

12 Beijing / 75.40 / 5.12

Beijing offers higher salary compare to living expense. The city contains business districts along with world heritage sites.Life expectancy is at 75.40 and fitness membership cost around £38.62. It is a recommended place to at least live once in a lifetime and experience good culture shock.

  • Sunshine Hour

2,671

  • Happiness level

5.12

  • Outdoor activity

223

13 Bangkok / 74.10 / 5.99

Bangkok is another good place to live at least once. With combination of 2,624 sunshine hour and life expectancy rate at 74.10 years make Thailand reached 13th on the rank.

  • Sunshine Hour

        2,624

  • Happiness level

       5.99

  • Outdoor activity

        377

17 Jakarta / 84.39 / 5.28

High in populations and culture, Jakarta offer good amount of sunshine and outdoor activity. Living cost and relatively comfortable with wide ranges of pricing to choose from.

  • Sunshine Hour

2,983

  • Happiness level

        5.28

  • Outdoor activity

        114

To view to full list, please read here.

 

About Zazithorn Ruengchinda

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok Thailand

View all posts by Zazithorn Ruengchinda