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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I check out research into which is the most relaxing city in the UK to live, and why!
I’m constantly stressed, anxious and tired. It’s something I have written about many times here, and something I’m always on the lookout for better ways to manage, so when I learned research had been done into the most relaxing city in the UK, I knew I wanted to know more! Could it be that where I live is the root cause of all my problems?
Okay… no. That’s highly unlikely, but it’s possible it’s a contributing factor. And learning what makes one city more relaxing than another could give me things to focus on or prioritise if we ever move.
To help me out, UK CBD Brand BrownsCBD sent over their research into key metrics that contribute towards how relaxing a place may be including,
- Life Satisfaction
- Anxiety levels
- Median weekly pay
- Price of petrol and cost of living
- Gyms and health clubs per 100k people
- Happiness levels
- Average distance to parks, gardens or playing fields
These metrics were chosen due to their impacts on a person’s well-being and stress levels. The more relaxed an area is, the better the quality of life and the less stress people can expect to experience.
The Most Relaxing Cities In The UK
1 – Derby: Index score 67.35
Derby is a city located in the East Midlands region of England. Derby is home to the historic Derby Cathedral, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, and the Derby County Football Club. Derby has relatively low house prices compared to many places in the UK, and the average distance to a green space is only 311 metres. There are 77 gyms and health clubs per 100,000 people, which is much higher than the national average of only 35 per 100,000.
2 – Worcester: Index score 60.13
Worcester is a city in England famous for its picturesque location on the banks of the River Severn and its magnificent Worcester Cathedral. ONS reported higher than average (7.38) levels of happiness in Worcester (7.44). Worcester also has lower-than-average anxiety levels (average 3.25, Worcester 3.07). The average hours worked is also less than much of the UK at 31.7 hours weekly; this extra time outside of work means people can rest and relax more.
3 – Bath: Index score 58.57
Bath is a city in Somerset famous for its Roman-built baths and Georgian architecture. The city is also known for its natural hot springs and elegant Georgian-era buildings, such as the Royal Crescent and the Circus. On average, Bath residents earn more weekly (£635) than the national average (£619). More disposable income means people are able to engage in more activities they enjoy, such as trips away. Bath also has over double the national average of gyms and health clubs, with 88 per 100,000 people.
4 – Gloucester: Index score 58.01
Gloucester is a historic city in Gloucestershire known for its magnificent Gloucester Cathedral. The city has a rich maritime history, reflected in its Victorian docks and the National Waterways Museum. Gloucester also offers picturesque streets, Tudor-style buildings, and a vibrant cultural scene. Residents in Gloucester have a very low average distance to green spaces, with only 281 metres. People also report low levels of anxiety (mean score of 2.46) and higher-than-average levels of happiness (7.58).
5 – Southampton: Index score 56.52
Southampton is a bustling port city on the south coast of England. The city boasts a fascinating history, offering beautiful parks and shopping centres. In Southampton, residents, on average, earn £680 per week, which is above the average of all cities. Southampton also has one of the lowest average distances to green spaces (246 metres).
6 – Preston: Index score 56.33
Preston is a city located in Lancashire. It is known for its industrial heritage, particularly in textiles and engineering. In Preston, average house prices are £150,000, which is £100,000 cheaper than the average in all UK cities. Preston also has 97 gyms and health clubs per 100,000 people, one of the highest. Average happiness levels are also high (7.52).
7 – Stoke-on-Trent: Index score 54.38
Stoke-on-Trent, often referred to as the “Potteries,” is a city in Staffordshire. Stoke-on-Trent offers beautiful parks, shopping centres, and the iconic Trentham Estate. Average house prices in Stoke-on-Trent are even lower than in Preston at £140,000, and happiness levels are slightly higher (7.59). People in Stoke-on-Trent have much shorter journeys to local green spaces, with an average distance of only 210 metres.
8 – Coventry: Index score 53.54
Coventry is a city in the West Midlands. It is known for its medieval history, notably its magnificent Coventry Cathedral. The city has undergone significant redevelopment and offers a mix of historical and modern attractions. Coventry has an average weekly earnings of £652, which is above the average of all cities. Anxiety is also less prevalent (3.11) than much of the other cities in the UK.
9 – Nottingham: Index score 53.46
Nottingham is a vibrant city famous for its legendary Nottingham Castle, perched on a hilltop, which offers panoramic views of the city and houses a museum and art gallery. Nottingham has lower-than-average house prices (£173,000) and also has more gyms and health clubs than most cities in the UK (65 per 100,000). Green spaces are also more accessible, with the average distance to gardens, parks and playing fields being only 285 metres.
10 – Aberdeen: Index score 53.05
Aberdeen is a city located in northeast Scotland. The city boasts beautiful sandy beaches, historic castles like Dunnottar Castle, and a lively cultural scene with theatres, museums, and galleries. Aberdeen has one of the lowest average house prices (£133,000) but a higher-than-average weekly wage (£674). Aberdeen does have fewer gyms and health clubs per 100,000 people. However, happiness still remains higher than average (7.47)
What Makes A City Relaxing?
Modern life has become fast-paced, expensive and frequently complicated. These additional stressors can adversely impact our mental and physical health. Cities with more access to gyms, health clubs and green spaces (such as parks and gardens) provide residents a higher quality of life, making life more relaxing and reducing anxiety and stress.
The research shows a clear correlation between how location, job and personal health can impact mental and physical health. Finding time to rest and relax can be difficult due to the commitments that we all have with work, friends and family. However, it’s still important to consider our own wellbeing. By setting aside time, from as little as 30 minutes to a couple of hours a day for hobbies, sports, social clubs or even just watching films or TV, it can reduce stress in other areas of your life and make yourself more relaxed and focused.
-Laurence Brown, director ofBrownsCBD
Method: Indicator data was sourced from the sources listed below. When necessary, indicators were first scaled to population by dividing by the population of the state and multiplying by 100,000. The indicators were then min-max scaled from 0 to 10, and negative indicators such as average house price were subtracted from 10 to invert their scoring. The indicators were then indexed using fair weightings.
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