There are many factors that come into play when we are thinking about where it is we want to live. People are more mobile and capable of choosing exactly where they want to live today than we ever have been, so how do we make such an important decision?
Though features such as amenities, recreation, location, family, and other specific factors are what we tend to think of when we ask ourselves why we would choose to live in one setting over another, there is an overarching category which these all fall neatly into: Heath, Wellness and Quality of Life.
These things, though generalizations, continually top the list of concerns for those looking into places to live. They are also universal, meaning that every person wants these things. We all want to be healthy, and to have a good or better quality of life; it’s human nature.
So, what does this have to do with land ownership? Good question. It turns out, it has a lot to do with owning land, especially rural property in the country. More than just owning it, this article is based on the science of living on your land in the country.
It has been proven in a number of ways that where you live directly influences and affects your health and quality of life. Some things, such as air and water quality are obvious factors in our well-being. Other things, such as ambient noise level, visual stressor cues and perceived threat levels may not be so obvious, but have all been proven to play their part in our general health.
Another way to look at this is to break down the components of a healthy and balanced life into three areas: nutrition, exercise, and rest. These three things, when achieved in the right quantities and qualities, form the basis of healthy living. They all contribute to physical and mental stress levels, productivity and energy levels, and in turn, longevity and fulfillment in life.
Those who are born in, or especially who live within large cities tend to be at higher risk of mental and emotional illnesses such as various forms of anxiety disorder, depression, and paranoid manifestations such as schizophrenia. Recent research shows that those living in cities are nearly 40% more likely to develop and live with mood disorders, and that disorders related to anxiety are over 20% higher for urban dwellers.
This is largely attributed to environmental factors such as crowdedness, traffic, crime rates, and the fast, competitive pace of city living.
One of the more subjective comparisons between city and rural living has to do with “entertainment”. This term means different things to different people, with some being entertained by means of night life and shopping, while others find more entertainment while engaged in outdoor activities and enjoying natural settings. All of these activities, both urban and rural result in walking, socializing, and enjoyment of life, just in different ways. The entertainment found in the country tends to be more centered on clean and natural environments, and therefore leads to a higher quality of health for those who enjoy such things.
One of pillars of health which is getting better in some cities, but has always been an aspect of the country life, is access to natural, fresh foods and water. There are many aspects which factor into the true nutritional value of the foods we eat, some of which include when they were harvested, who they were grown by, how far they have traveled, and whether or not they are in tune with the local seasons. These are more or less guaranteed to be in alignment with country living, and may or may not be optimal in an urban marketplace.
Today’s world is one of constant distraction and instant gratification, which makes the city life more and more appealing to more people. However, with the constant benefit of reduced noise, natural daylight and dark night cycles, fresh air, clean water, and exposure to nature, it is hard to argue against country living’s profoundly positive effect on our health, wellness, and quality of life.