Is Your Hometown a Health Hazard?

Like it or not, lots of research shows where you live has a lot to do with how healthy you are. So, take a good look out your window.  Then consider these facts we found in Oprah’s O magazine.

  • Does your home face a busy street? According to the Harvard School of Public Health, anyone living within 500 yards of a major road breathes a steady stream of soot and nitrogen oxide – belched into the air from car exhaust. The busier the street, the worse the air gets, since stop-and-go traffic generates three times the pollution of free-flowing traffic! Of course, every lungful of exhaust you breathe increases your risk of developing all sorts of health problems – from asthma, to high blood pressure, to lung cancer!
  • So what if you don’t live near a street? If you’re in a city, you’re still exposed to noise pollution. That includes everything from the sounds of construction, loud music, barking dogs, and honking horns. Every new sound adds more stress, which can devastate your heart. In fact, research by the World Health Organization found that long-term exposure to traffic noise alone accounts for at least 3% of all cases of heart disease!
  • Not that city living is all bad. According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, people who live within walking distance of shops and businesses are 35% LESS likely to become obese. In fact, depending on the city, the net BENEFIT to your health might offset what you risk from noise and air pollution. An international study shows suburb-dwellers tend to be fatter than country folks and city slickers. Experts say it's because rural people and city dwellers walk more. The folks in the suburbs have to drive to get everywhere.
  • The key to staying healthy starts with your bedroom! Experts recommend setting up your bed as far from the street as possible. If noise is a problem, consider wearing earplugs to sleep. You may also want to invest in a HEPA filter, which is known to remove 99% percent of harmful air particles in a room.

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