The Czech Republic has in at number 29 on the 2019 Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, which ranks 159 countries around the world by a variety of health factors that contribute to overall health.
The ranking for the Czech Republic represents a mild one-spot increase from the previous time the Bloomberg list was published, in 2017.
Spain topped Bloomberg’s list of the healthiest countries this year, topping 2017’s healthiest country, Italy. Japan, Iceland, and Switzerland rounded out the top 5.
While many western European countries rank higher in the list – Czech neighbors Austria and Germany come in at #13 and #22, respectively – the Czech Republic rates considerably higher than some of its neighbors to the east.
Poland comes in at #40 on the Bloomberg list, while Slovakia is all the way down at #45.
The Czech Republic is also ranked ahead of the USA, which shows up at #35 on the list.
According to researchers, eating habits played a large part in the health rankings; Spain and Italy, which topped the list, enjoy a “Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, [that] had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than those assigned to a reduced-fat diet,” according to a study by the University of Navarra Medical School.
The Czech Republic, meanwhile, has a generally high-fat diet rich in meats, and the country consumes more beer per capita than any other nation in the world.
But the Czech Republic also has a long history of sports and outdoor activities, which may serve to counteract some of the less-healthy aspects of the typical Czech diet.