Sarah Beeny: ‘I’m far happier’ – the ‘significant’ health benefits of rural living


She said that being around nature has “enriched her life,” so much so that she encouraged those who still live in cities, and London especially, to visit their local parks more frequently to reap the mental health benefits she has found.

On the surface, living in more rural areas in comparison to cities may seem to be more beneficial. In fact, according to David Newby, British Heart Foundation professor of cardiology at the University of Edinburgh, when it comes to air pollution, “being in the country is better for you”.

Roy Harrison, professor of environmental health at the University of Birmingham, agreed saying it is “significantly healthier” to live in the countryside. He says research shows that air pollution is responsible for an average loss of life expectancy of six months across the UK and most of that is driven by urban populations.

A 2012 government report by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found that health aspects such as life expectancy was higher in the countryside, in addition to a lower infant mortality rate.



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