Country Dwellers Are Calmer But More Likely Obese

      June 18, 2022 08:27

      Stress and depression are lowest in rural areas, but country dwellers are also more likely to smoke and become obese.

      According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, 28 percent of people in Seoul and 27.2 percent in other major cities are stressed, but that declines to 26.6 percent in towns with populations of less than 300,000 and 24 percent in rural communities. The agency surveyed 229,242 adults across the country.

      The pattern is similar for depression. The proportion of people with longer periods of depression was 6.8 percent in Seoul and 7.2 percent in major cities but 6.2 percent in smaller towns and 5.9 percent in the countryside.

      South Jeolla Province had the lowest stress levels with 23.7 percent, while Incheon had the highest with 29.5 percent. South Jeolla Province also had the lowest rate of depression at 5.1 percent and Incheon the highest at 8.8 percent. 

      But big cities are healthier in other ways because they have lower rates of obesity and smoking. Rural areas have smoking rates of about 20 percent, compared to Seoul's 15.8 percent.

      In terms of obesity, the capital's rate stands at 29.2 percent while the country's ranges between 33.6 percent and 34.1 percent.

      Sejong administrative city has the lowest smoking rate in the country at 15.1 percent, while Gangwon and North Chuncheong provinces have the highest at 21 percent. Sejong also has the lowest rate of obesity at 27.5 percent, while Jeju Island has the highest rate at 36 percent.

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