Bloomberg ranks Spain as the healthiest nation
According to a recent Bloomberg survey, the world’s healthiest nation is Spain. The survey looked at a number of measures including life expectancy, access to clean water and sanitation, obesity and tobacco use. With no smoking day on the horizon on 13th March, it may be worth considering living in one of the best places to kick the habit. Indeed, March appears to be the time for a focus on health, with nutrition and hydration week taking placing from 11th – 17th March. With Italy in second place in the Bloomberg survey, there is a suggestion that the Mediterranean diet may be a factor in the health of those living in both Spain and Italy. This isn’t the only way to maintain a healthy diet, however; making up the rest of the top five healthiest nations are Iceland, Japan and Switzerland, all of which have very different national cuisines.
Contrasting survey puts Canada at the top of the wellness index
To put the Bloomberg survey in perspective, the UK currently stands at 19th place in the world’s healthiest nations, and the US at 35th place. The Bloomberg measure is a useful starting point, but there’s no guarantee that if you move from the UK to Spain that your health will improve. The Global Wellness Index was released soon after the Bloomberg survey and as it considered different measures as an indication of a healthy nation, the ranking was very different. In this survey, Canada topped the charts, with only Iceland within the top five of both surveys. This study focused much more on the government spend on healthcare per resident, and it demonstrated that larger and more developed countries are falling behind. It’s an important consideration – a warmer climate and a healthier diet can do wonders for a person’s wellbeing, but if you’re making a move abroad, it is worth considering if the healthcare infrastructure is in place should you need it given that not every complaint can be solved with sunshine and a diet rich in olive oil.
Health considerations when deciding where to move abroad
These studies are a useful indicator if you’re looking to move abroad but you need to take your personal preferences into account. The slower pace of life can help improve mental health for many – but some people may prefer to keep busy. A remote village with a temperate climate may look like paradise, but it won’t be enjoyable if you’re worrying about how far away the nearest hospital is, or if you’re hard to reach and miss seeing your family. If you’re planning to move abroad, health is an important consideration and it’s worth taking the time to think about what health and happiness mean for you. That might be living near a golfing green in Spain where you can get plenty of fresh air and exercise, a traditional Italian village with a cuisine full of fresh, healthy ingredients and a slower pace to enjoy the finer things in life, or the infrastructure of Canada which allows you to explore and enjoy life knowing that the government is investing in healthcare.
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