Residents of Victoria have many advantages that allow them to enjoy good health, well-being, and happiness. For example, Victoria’s mild climate means locals can take part in outdooractivities at all times of year, and in so doing, maintain a good quality of life. Unlike residents ofother Canadian cities who have to retreat indoors due to seasonal extreme weather, Victorians canparticipate in activities such as cycling, fishing, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving and sailing year-round (Tourism Victoria, n.d.-b). Victoria is also at the start of the Vancouver Island Golf Trail,which provides 11 golf courses (Tourism Victoria, n.d.-a, para. 2). Physical activity is a key aspect ofgood health (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2012, Health Benefits section, para. 3), and outdoorpursuits in particular have the added benefits of “fresh air, exercise, reconnecting with nature [and]rejuvenating your inner spirit” (City of Victoria, 2012, para. 1). Since regular exercise promotesgood mental health, such as reduced stress levels and higher self-esteem (Public Health Agency ofCanada, 2012, Health Benefits section, para. 3), a healthier, more active lifestyle also allowsVictorians to experience greater happiness since “research connects happiness to physical well-being, mental well-being…[and] health” (Greater Victoria Happiness Index Partnership, 2009, p. 3).In fact, in a 2009 Happiness Index Survey, respondents from Victoria assessed their own lifesatisfaction and happiness on ten-point rating scales and reported an average score in bothcategories of 7.6 out of 10 (Capital Regional District et al., 2009, p. 4), placing Victorians close tothe Canadian average of 7.7 out of 10 (p. 4). Canada usually places within the top five countries inthe rankings of life-satisfaction and happiness (p. 4), so Victorians can truly enjoy world-classlevels of well-being and happiness. It’s not only access to outdoor activities that help Victoriansachieve good health and well-being; Victoria’s social and community vitality also provide keysupports.
Social connections within a community have a significant impact on happiness and well-being (Capital Regional District et al., 2009, p. 7), and Victorians benefit from the local services andstructures that help them make those connections. [Paragraph continues]