The 4 Healthiest Countries in the World

Written by on August 21, 2012 in Health - No comments | Print this page

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When looking for the healthiest countries in the world, numerous criteria must be evaluated including safety of drinking water, sanitation, infant mortality rates, tuberculosis rates, malnutrition rates, healthy life expectancies for men, physician density rates and air pollution. Here are the four healthiest countries in the world based upon these standards.

1. Japan

Japan is known for having the longest life expectancies in the world. The average life expectancy for women is 86, and the average life expectancy for men is 79. Japanese people eat a diet rich in fish and seaweed. The Japanese business culture is full of stress, but Japanese business people tend to remain healthy because of their diet. In Japan there is even a government-sponsored exercise program to improve longevity. A healthy Japanese lifestyle includes a diet with copious amounts of fish, vegetables and exercise.

2. Sweden

Sweden has very little pollution and therefore some of the world’s cleanest air. Life expectancy in Sweeden is fairly high. Only three out of every 1000 births are stillborn, and annually there are only four cases of tuberculosis for every 100,000 people.

Safe drinking water is in abundance in Sweden, and public healthcare is well-funded for both children and adults. Sweden has high cancer survival rates and overall healthier citizens than most countries. To keep stress levels low, the country provides well-lit and walkable areas for its citizens.

3. Iceland

Iceland makes the list because of its long life expectancies, low infant mortality rates, low pollution levels and high density of physicians per capita. The country also has low tuberculosis rates. There is strong emphasis placed on healthcare in Iceland.

Iceland offers prenatal and post-birth healthcare for mothers and their babies. Because of this program Sweden has some of the world’s healthiest infants. For every 1000 live births in Iceland, there are only two deaths before the age of five. Parents are also guaranteed three months of paid professional leave each time a child is born.


4. Switzerland

Switzerland has one of the world’s longest life expectancies. This is, in part, attributed to the fact that the country also has one of the world’s greatest physician densities. Modern medical services are available to every citizen, and the country ranks as one of the highest in terms of health care spending per capita. Switzerland did not rank higher in this list because its air pollution is higher than the other three contenders.

What Can Other Countries Do to Be Healthier

If other countries follow the lead of these four countries, the world would be a healthier and happier place. Healthy people are happier, and happier people are healthier. It works both ways.

Diet is only one component of a healthy lifestyle. People must exercise and have access to adequate healthcare to remain healthy. Clean air and safe drinking water are also extremely important. When people have access to these basic necessities, they are more likely to be healthier.

This is a guest post.  Sandra Collins is a public health administrator and guest author at MPHOnline.org, a site with guides and information on top-rated public health programs online.

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