For most of my life, I have lived in Somerset in the depths of the country. When I was younger, I didn't really like it.. I used to see all the 'downsides' such as the shops closing on Sundays, bad wi-fi reception and things not being accessible easily.
Now that I'm older I love it. I love that it's so beautiful and peaceful, that there is green grass, cows and bounding fields. I love that feeling the ducks, looking at rivers and country walks are a regular thing.
Sienna loves it too, she loves to be outside and I think the country life is definitely a better environment to bring kids up in, personally. I am so glad we moved back to Somerset from Bristol when I was pregnant with her and are still here.
Until recently, I was unaware that where you live can also have an effect on what medical conditions we are at risk of getting. Analysis of national statistics by Benenden - a health & wellbeing provider - looked at the varying risks of developing medical conditions across different areas of the country and created a tool so you are able to check your area.
The site looks at the national average – based on occurrences per 1000 people, with statistics looking at how more or less likely you are to potentially develop a serious medical condition based on where you live. For example, if you live in the areas of East Sussex and Suffolk you are 7% less likely (compared to the national average) to develop a serious condition like cancer or liver disease. However, in comparison, you are 12% more likely (compared to the national average) to develop a serious medical condition if you live in Hampshire and 10% more likely in Merseyside.
The tool also allows users to understand the regional differences between the sexes. If you are a woman, you are 21% more likely to be at risk of breast cancer if you live in Cheshire compared to women who live in Cambridgeshire. I put in my gender and location and it says I am most at risk of getting skin cancer but lowest risk for kidney disease.
This ‘Risk by Region’ tool is designed to raise people’s awareness of the higher risk medical conditions in their area. It does not make assumptions on your current lifestyle – instead it uses national statistics to build the picture of varied risk across the country. It's quite interesting to know and is helpful so then you can take a more informed view of you approach your health and lifestyle!