Protect Your Zen: The World's Least Stressful Cities
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Protect Your Zen: The World's Least Stressful Cities

boston , chicago , houston , miami , Seattle , Iceland , news
Brunno Braga
Brunno Braga Jun 22, 2021

Seven US cities ranked in the top 100 of the world’s least stressful. Released by VAAY, a German CDB (Cannabidiol) brand, the survey assessed over 500 cities from across the globe against a number of stress indicators.

The purpose of the study is to celebrate cities which are succeeding in reducing the stress levels of citizens through good governance and city planning before, during and beyond the pandemic.

According to VAAY, the least stressful city in the world is Reykjavík, Iceland, ahead of Bern, Switzerland and Helsinki, Finland. However, Tokyo has the highest score for its Covid-19 response, meaning that it had the lowest stress impact on its citizens.

Bangkok and Montreal ranked second and third. Citizens in Oslo, Norway have the best access to healthcare, ahead of Sydney, Australia. People living in Reykjavík, Iceland also have the best air quality, followed by Edinburgh, United Kingdom and Wellington, New Zealand. 

The seven US cities who ranked among the top 100 were Houston (25), Seattle (39), Chicago (40), Boston (43), Miami (44), Los Angeles (45) and Washington (47).

“Where you live can substantially increase your stress levels. We believe each factor determines an interesting angle— very few cities do well across all factors indicating a global need to focus more on the wellbeing of citizens,” said Finn Age Hänsel, Co-Founder of VAAY.

For Hansel, this study helps to focus on the basic factors needed to tackle at the city stress level to make those bigger issues disappear.

“The survey was intended to promote inner balance and mindfulness. The company decided to look into common external factors that make city-living stressful for urbanites. For far too long we have avoided focusing on the mental health and well-being of the people, the most important of all things.”

On the other hand, Mumbai, India, ranked as the most stressful city in the study, followed by Lagos, Nigeria and Manila, Philippines. The worst air quality was found to be in New Delhi, India, followed by Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Karachi, Pakistan.

During this process, VAAY researchers realized that it could directly compare multiple stress indicators in cities around the world. Thus, this comparison helped to determine which cities are the least, and most, stressful for their citizens. The resulting index shines a light on the ever-present factors that influence a person’s stress levels.

“Our goal is to show what cities can achieve for their citizens through effective governance, robust environmental policies and well-resourced social welfare systems. The aim is not to single out the cities which may lag behind in any of these areas, but rather highlight those which are leading examples.”

You can find the full list of results here.

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