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Living in the city can affect your health both positively and negatively—but knowing the pros and cons of how urban life impacts your mental and physical wellbeing can help you take advantage of the good and minimize the bad. Here are seven factors to keep in mind, whether you live in the city or are considering it:

The Pros

You Can Walk Everywhere
Whether you’re picking up dinner or going to work, you’ll use your legs to get around more in the city—even if you’re using public transportation. In fact, you might not even need to own a car.

Your Commute Is Probably Shorter
Living in the ’burbs generally comes with a longer commute, which, as anyone who has ever sat in traffic knows, can seriously tax your mental health. Spending more time with friends, family and pets is a lot more fun than being bumper to bumper.

Better Medical Care
From a faster response time from EMS (due to proximity) in case of emergency to access to top research hospitals, cities have some of the best healthcare in the country.

Social Interaction
Research has shown that socializing regularly is crucial to our mental health, and in cities, meeting new people and getting together with friends you already have is simpler.

The Cons

Pollution, Pollution, Pollution
Noise and air pollution can take a toll, and you may incur both more frequently if you live in the city. Noise pollution can affect mental health, and air pollution can lead to diagnoses like asthma.

Higher Cost of Living
Everything from your apartment to groceries can be pricier, which can make money a bigger source of stress.

Higher Crime Rates
Being the victim of crime—whether violent or not—is incredibly stressful. Even the threat of crime can prevent us from fully relaxing.

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