CNN has confirmed something many of us living here already suspected – Copenhagen is one of the 10 healthiest cities in the world! Personally, we feel that Copenhagen is the healthiest city on this list. Here are the top six reasons Copenhagen is the healthiest city:
1. Work/life balance
Denmark has a great culture of work/life balance, with only 2% of Danes working more than 40 hours per week. This leaves people with plenty of free time for friends, family, volunteering, and personal interests. Having a proper work/life balance not only reduces stress levels, but increases happiness as well. After all, Denmark has been named the Happiest Country in the World for a few years now.
2. Cycling Culture
The cycling culture is one of the first things visitors will notice about Copenhagen – bikes are everywhere! Approximately 50% of all commutes in Copenhagen are made by bike, with plans to see this number increase in the future. Not only is cycling economical and environmentally friendly, it’s physically healthy as well. The city has implemented many bike lanes, paths, and bridges to ensure cycling is a safe and enjoyable activity.
3. strong social networks
96% of Danes report having a strong support system and being able to call someone in a time of need. Access to a strong social network and support system is proven to have both mental and physical benefits such as reduced anxiety and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
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4. Access to green areas
Despite being a bustling capital city, Copenhagen is full of green areas such as parks and beaches for locals to spend their free time. In fact, the city has made it a priority to ensure that all residents can access a green area within 15 minutes by next year – quite an undertaking, but it shows how seriously green areas are taken around here!
5. Fitness as a priority
Even though many Danes get some exercise by cycling, they still flock to the many fitness centres and outdoor areas to break a sweat. Fitness is clearly a priority for many people here, and “what kind of fitness do you do” is a common question to ask someone. The Danes don’t let weather stop them either – you will see people out running rain, shine, or cold temperatures.
6. LAUGHTER YOGA
Laughter yoga is one of the many free and healthy activities available to residents of Copenhagen. The city is even home to Denmark’s own laughter guru, Thomas Flindt! Laughter yoga proves that laughter really is the medicine sometime, with reported benefits such as improved mood and decreased levels of stress.
In short, the Danes can have their Carlsberg and drink it too. This is a country all about balance, both in their professional lives and in their approach to health. To learn more about health and happiness in Denmark, tune into CNN’s “Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta” as he talks about happiness in Denmark and participates in a laugher yoga session with Thomas Flindt.