Living in the ’Burbs

News Note

By Darren Buford

Originally published in Body Sense magazine, Spring/Summer 2005.

Who would have thought that living the suburban life might be killing you? According to a study published in Public Health, suburban sprawl (specifically the air pollution caused by automobiles and a more sedentary lifestyle) may be more hazardous to your health than metropolitan living. The study compared such dichotomous areas of the United States as Riverside-San Bernadino, Calif., with Manhattan and found that living in the least-sprawled areas added as much as four years to your life.

The reason? Those who live in sprawling areas tend to have more commuting miles to and from work, exercise less, and are often more tempted to eat fast food on the go — all factors contributing to a number of chronic illnesses.