Africa, People, Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Health

9 cities from around the world that promote healthy living

Responsible Business | Apr 06, 2018


“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”– Martin Luther King Jr.

World Health Day is held annually on 7th April. This year’s theme – Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere – aims to engage in mobilizing high-level attention and amplify the movement to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage. In the week ahead, there are many global, national and local events organized to discuss and take action related to health.

A few interesting facts about healthcare:

  • At least half of the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential health services.
  • About 100 million people are still being pushed into “extreme poverty” because they have to pay for health care
  • Over 800 million people spent at least 10 percent of their household budgets to pay for health care
  • 45% of deaths among children under 5 occur during the first four weeks of life

Below you will find a list of 9 cities that promote healthy lifestyles:

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

62% of people living in Copenhagen cycle to work every day.

With working hours shorter than in most of Europe and sports activities paid for by the government, the capital city of Denmark remains one of the best examples of what a healthy city would look like.

2. Okinawa, Japan

Once past the age of 65, men can expect to live to about 84, for women it’s close to 90.

Rates of cancer, stroke, coronary heart disease and depression are well below the average for advanced economies. Okinawans typically eat little red meat, drink in moderation and stay socially connected by respecting family, in particular, the elderly.

3. Monte Carlo, Monaco

Child mortality is lower than anywhere else in the world, with an estimated 1.81 deaths per 1,000 births.

Highly advanced health technology and high number of medical staff per resident means access to quality healthcare is not an issue here.

4. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver has seen a 6% reduction in its carbon emissions since 1990, despite a nearly 30% growth in population and an 18% growth in jobs.

The shift away from a car-centered culture in one reason the city also has some of the cleanest air in the world.

5. Adelaide, Australia

Adelaide’s industrial businesses foster heavy green practices, keeping pollution levels to a minimum.

Through elements such as paving, landscaping, street furniture and public art, they are introducing new ways for people to use the space, which will have a number of positive health benefits.

6. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town’s quickly become the wellness capital of South Africa, making it a coastal playground for healthy travel.

Regular outdoor activities such as beach braais, ocean swims, mountain missions, yoga retreats show how serious Capetonians are about leading balanced, holistic lives.

7. Wellington, New Zealand

33% of people living in Wellington travel around via bus while others carpool.

For a capital city, Wellington does an excellent job of getting citizens on board public transit systems. This keeps pollution much lower than most cities of its size (population 200,000). The scenic countryside beckons to be explored, and residents stay active on the gorgeous and rugged terrain outside the city.

8. Havana, Cuba

Despite poverty remaining a major problem, simple things like a near-100% vaccination rate and regular health screenings means Havana is one of the healthiest cities on the planet.

Every community has a network of small doctors’ offices in nearby homes and free access to neighborhood “polyclinics which shows the advantage of preventing the problem in the first place rather than focusing on the treatment afterwards.

9. Reykjavik, Iceland

The city promotes environmental awareness heavily and boasts the lowest car density per square kilometer on the planet.

High activity levels and healthy eating keep these Icelanders extra-fit. Reykjavík city is powered by clean energy and characterised by its proximity to nature, where you can try out an array of healthy outdoor activities and experience the feel-good energy that comes with all that fresh clean air.


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