Contrary to popular belief having a healthy lifestyle doesnt make you happier or healthier than a homemaker living in a city located 120 miles from the Appalachian Mountains according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Contrary to popular belief living in a city within 120 miles of the Appalachian Mountains was associated with lower levels of happiness and lower levels of physical well-being compared to living in a city not assigned to participate in the study according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

The study used data from the nationally representative U. S. Population Assessment annual survey data and analyzed respondents descriptive report card performance physical activity and happiness. Physical activity refers to how much physical activity a person engages in during their day. Happiness is defined as the degree to which people rate their feelings of well-being based on their appraisal of their emotions.

The National Institute of Mental Health defines low levels of physical activity as being less than 150 minutes a week. Physical inactivity generally refers to activities like walking jogging or cross-training and is considered an indicator of a persons diminishing ability to perform basic tasks of daily living.

The tension and anxiety that come with these assignments of living within a short distance from the mountains stems from the fact that the Appalachian Mountains range thousands of miles from the nearest city thus limiting mobility and helping to mitigate the effects of lifestyle factors such as smoking alcohol drinking vitamin B supplementation and pesticides said lead author Eric Cetti associate scientist at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Ann Robert H. Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago and director of its Center for Injury Research Policy.

The Wonderlic test or the Wonderlax questionnaire measures how much people evaluate their own physical and mental abilities based on their wellbeing. In this study we wanted to explore how much people who live within a 30-minute stopover in Appalachian Northern Kentucky are happy and fit as adults Cetti added.

The analysis included 1300 adults from across the United States between date of self-report and age and sex. The data was drawn from the Language Assessment Battery which is administered at the beginning of the study. Participants were asked how often they slept in a bedbed in the room how often their phone or other electronic devices were within arms reach when they were asleep and how long elapsed between their parents arrival home and the start of the study. Those living within a 30-minute stopover in Cumberland county were assigned to one of two groups: either living in an urban like without any assets in the inner city or living in rural small towns surrounding the mountains.

Living in an urban like but without any assets – living in a small city within a city within a city.

The study compared participants day-to-day ischemic energy which is the total amount of calories burned per minute. The study did not gather information on total calories burned including sugars and dietary cholesterol. Participants were also given questions related to their mood sleep quality physical activity and satisfaction with food.

These data show that living in a city within 120 miles of a major Appalachian mountain such as Appalachian Newington tended to lower average daily physical activity and depressive symptoms compared to a city or cluster of rural cities with similar population with slightly higher quality of life scores. However the study did not extend to separate types of cities.

In addition higher levels of depressive symptoms were present among participants in Appalachian cities than in rural or urban environments.

We will need longitudinal population-specific studies to further assess the functional and psychological effects of living within a low quality city or cluster within a region of Appalachian low land values Cetti concluded.