Feeling old before your time? That’s likely if you live in Knoxville, Tenn., or so says a recent analysis of aging data by RealAge.com, a website that aims to gauge your age based on your lifestyle, rather than years lived.
Among the 50 major metropolitan areas that the site studied, Knoxville ranked the city where residents aged the fastest, largely as the result of drinking, smoking, poor employment and high stress rates. RealAge officials emphasize that just because your city is unhealthy doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit, but other research by behavioral psychologists indicates that you’ll be fighting a tougher battle if you’re surrounded by bad influences.
“Even if you live in Knoxville, you can do everything in your power to keep yourself in good shape,” Dr. Keith Roach, RealAge’s chief medical officer, said in an interview. “But there’s no doubt that there is a tendency for healthy or unhealthy behaviors to rub off on your friends and relatives.”