When you think of a ‘healthy city,’ chances are Los Angeles comes to mind. Known for its perpetual sunshine, seemingly endless supply of green juice and fitness studios on every block, it’s the health mecca from which many of the world’s biggest wellness trends emerge. So, you may be surprised to learn that in the index of the world’s healthiest cities, LA doesn’t even make the top ten!
Online accomodation booking service Spotahome compiled the 2018 Healthiest Cities Index based on various key factors including: the hours of sunshine a year, green space, air and water quality, how regularly locals used the gym, work-life balance, average annual leave days, life expectancy and rates of obesity. Interestingly, 8 of the 10 spots featured on the list were European cities, while the other two are in Australia.
In the top spot was Amsterdam in the Netherlands, which is hardly surprising considering the healthy Dutch diet and prevalent use of bicycles for transport. This was closely followed by Oslo in Norway and and Munich in Germany.
The two Australian cities featured in the 10 top are Adelaide and Perth, at number 8 and 10 respectively. This may come as a surprise to some Aussies, as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are widely known as the health epicentres of the country due to the higher amount of healthy cafes and fitness studios in the areas. However, as the list proves, smaller cities like Perth and Adelaide are upping their stakes in the wellness game!
You can check out the list in its entirety below:
1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Dutch city scored high across all categories, but where it really shines is work/life balance—scoring 9.91 out of 10. Hardly surprising when you consider it’s very common to work part-time and working overtime is virtually unheard of.
2. Oslo, Norway
This picturesque city also ranked high in work/life balance and unsurprisingly, green space ratio.
3. Munich, Germany
Germany may be known for its delicious pretzels and beers, but the study showed that fast food outlets in this Bavarian city are rare.
4. Rotterdam, Holland
The study proved that historical city hasn’t fallen prey to many of the unhealthy trappings of modern life, including overbuilding, pollution and fast food chains.
5. Berlin, Germany
For a large city, Germany’s capital scored astoundingly high when it comes to green space and air and water quality—as well as work/life balance and electric car charging points.
6. Tallinn, Estonia
This Baltic city scored a solid 10 out 10 in average gym rating—which is calculated by comparing the ratings of 5 randomly selected gyms.
7. Vienna, Austria
The stunning city topped the charts in green space, fast food outlets and air and water quality. Not like we needed any more incentive to move there!
8. Adelaide, Australia
This underrated Aussie city made the top 10, thanks to its many green areas and low density of fast food chains.
9. Helsinki, Finland
It’s not hard to be healthy in Helsinki—where work/life balance is a thing and you’re more likely to meet at the park than the pub.
10. Perth, Australia
They call Brisbane the sunshine state, but Perth topped the charts when it comes to hours of sunshine—earning it a spot in the top 10.