A story from ABC news this week confirms what many of us already know or suspect; that kids growing up on farms tend to stay healthier than their city cousins. Most of the information is not really new, but is worth revisiting.

The report does not delve into the active farm lifestyle, with lots of fresh air, sunshine and exercise, which likely benefit health. It focuses instead on how exposure to low levels of bacteria and allergens can benefit immune systems. While many urban dwellers try to sanitize everything in their sealed home environments, farm kids are regularly exposed to animals, dust and bacteria.

As a result, they are half as likely to develop asthma and a quarter as likely to develop “hay fever” allergies as city kids, according to studies cited in the report. They also develop antibodies to defend against pathogenic bacteria due to low-level exposure.  

View the video from ABC news.