May 26, 2010

UK: Living in the countryside 'can add two years to life'

LONDON, England / The Telegraph / Health News / May 26, 2010

Living in the countryside can lead to a longer life, a new analysis suggests

By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent

Researchers found that people in rural areas tended to live for around two years longer than town dwellers.

Experts said that clean air, green space and availability of exercise could all contribute to greater longevity.

But they also credited increasing “gentrification” of the countryside, in which more affluent people move to rural areas, as one reason such communities might be expected to live longer.

The analysis, commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) took a snapshot of life expectancy between 2001 and 2007.

It found that on average rural men could expect to live until they were around 77 and a half, more than two years longer than men who lived in towns.

However, the benefits of countryside living were not as great for women, the study found.

Although they could expect to live until the ripe age of almost 82 and a half, women in urban areas lived to an average of 81 years of age. [rc]

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2010