It's not exactly a secret that stress is no good for your health. Studies have connected constant stress with health problems such as heart disease, depression, and chronic headaches.
But how exactly can you reduce stress when so much of it depends on your environment? Well, if you happen to want to move to Germany, that'd be a good place to start.
According to a study conducted by Zipjet, a UK-based company that aims to lower stress levels in urban environments, the top five least-stressful cities in the world are all in Germany or neighboring countries. They are: Stuttgart, Germany; Luxembourg City, Luxembourg; Hannover, Germany; Bern, Switzerland; and Munich, Germany.
What connects all of the top-rated cities, interestingly, is greater gender equality, as Bustle reports. Who would have thought: less sexism equals less stress.
Remember, of course, that the study conducted by Zipjet isn't peer-reviewed, and measured gender equality only in terms of the workforce, based on gender gap report data from the World Economic Forum and local statistics on women who work.
Even so, the U.S. didn't perform very well when it came to gender equality, or cities where people were reportedly less stressed out. The first U.S. city, Seattle, shows up at number 12 and only two more (Boston #30, and San Franscisco #40) are within the top 50.
The study looked at plenty of other stress-related factors, such as: density, green spaces, public transport, traffic congestion, perceptions of security, and sunshine hours. In terms of environment, researchers evaluated pollution, measuring air, noise and light pollution levels. When it came to economics, they looked at finance, measuring unemployment, debt per capita, social security, and family purchasing power. And don't forget people — researchers also measured mental health, physical health, gender equality, and racial equality.
So, if you're looking for somewhere a little less stressful, or just a little nicer for the women in it's workforce, it might be time to take a trip to Europe.
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