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Isle of Skye, healthiest place to live in UK

08-22-2011 13:59 BJT

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Living in an area that has beautiful scenery could add years to your life. Health statistics from the Isle of Skye show that people there statistically live longer than anywhere else in Scotland and are amongst the healthiest people in the whole of the UK.

Another fine day on one of the many crystal clear lochs near Broadford on the Isle of Skye.

This is Sally Parry and she's swimming just meters away from her back garden.

Two years short of 80, Parry is one of many elderly people living on Skye safe in the knowledge that statistically, they are amongst the healthiest people in the U.K.

2010 statistics from the Scottish Public Health Observatory show that people living in the Skye and Lochalsh area live on average 4 years longer than their neighbors in the rest of Scotland.



Living in an area that has beautiful scenery could add years to your life. Health statistics from the Isle of Skye show that people there statistically live longer than anywhere else in Scotland and are amongst the healthiest people in the whole of the UK.

Dr. Tara Shivaji, Specialist Registrar of Public Health for NHS Highland, said, "For Skye in particular there are two reasons why we see this healthy picture. The first is in the last few years there's been an influx into Skye of people of working age and recent retirees who've moved there to enjoy the outdoors and for lifestyle as well as economic reasons and these people tend to be healthier than average. The other reason is there are parts of Skye that are wealthier than average and we do know that people who are better off are better able to take on these healthy behaviors, getting outside, hill walking, swimming and so on."

But Skye and Lochalsh aren't the only areas in the UK with a high level of affluent residents, so why should it enjoy a lower mortality rate?

In 1984 the "Biophilia hypothesis" put forward by Harvard University entomologist, Edward Wilson, theorized that people are genetically programmed to have a preference for nature and that living in a beautiful, natural environment results in enhanced mental wellbeing and a sense of personal fulfillment.

Living in an area that has beautiful scenery could add years to your life. Health statistics from the Isle of Skye show that people there statistically live longer than anywhere else in Scotland and are amongst the healthiest people in the whole of the UK.

And natural beauty is something that Skye has in abundance.

In addition to enjoying stunning landscapes, the people of Skye are serious about keeping old traditions alive.

At this ceilidh in Broadford, locals from 4 generations are enjoying an evening of music and dance.

It seems a combination of healthy lifestyles, stunning scenery, relative wealth and community bonds makes this beautiful western isle one of the healthiest places to live in the U.K.

But before you sell your home and rush off to live on Skye, doctors warn that although it might help, it isn't all just about sitting back and enjoying the scenery.

"Take on healthy behaviors, such as getting outside, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and moderate alcohol consumption." Dr. Tara Shivaji said.

Which is great news for Sally, who's looking forward to many more years of swimming in the loch outside her home.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN

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