Commuting can Kill, and cause other Health issues

Recently, researches at the University of Umea in Sweden released a study that found couples in which one partner commutes for 45 minutes or longer are 40& more likely to get divorced then their non-commuting peers. This study did not go into what about the commute is bad for you or stressful, but it pointed out something that most of us already knew, which is that commuting is bad for you.Commuting is boring, life-draining, mundane, and something you have to do every day. This is time that could be spent exercising, spendiing quality time with a spouse or child, or having sex or anything else that may fill you up.Within the last 2 deceades a lot of information has come out measuring the effects of cummuting on our lives. Most of this information has shown that people who commute suffer from a disproportionate amount of stress, pain, obesity and dissatisfaction. In 2006 Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman and Princeton Economist Alan Krueger did a survey asking about the enjoyment associated with certain common activities. They found that commuting came in dead last.This unpleasantness spills over into other areas of our lives as well. This spillover makes us less happy in general.┬áIn a survery conducted last year by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that 40% of those who commute more than 90 minutes each way to and from work “experienced worry for much of the previous day”. That number fell to 28% for those who had a commute of less than 10 minutes. These long commutes contribute to feeling less rested and less enoyment as well. Along with feelings of isolation from being stuck in a car or train or bus by yourself for an hour or longer each way to and from work.This type of stressful commuting not only affects our emotional well-being, but our physical well-being also. That Gallup pole found that 33% of those who commute 90 minutes or longer will have recurrent neck or back problems. People with long commutes are fatter. National increases in commuting time are considered major contributing factors in our national obesity epidemic. Researches at the University of California-Los Angeles found that vehicle miles travelled had a stronger correlation with obesity than any other lifestyle factor.On average, one-way commuting has increased within the past 4 decades. the average one-way commute is 24 minutes. 1 in 6 workers commutes for more than 45 minutes each way. 3.5 million people commute more than 45 minutes each way, and are considered “extreme commuters”. Many of these people make the decision to have a spacious 4 bedroom house 45 minutes from work rather than a cramped 2 bedroom apartment 10 minutes from work. Economists for decades have been saying that when we buy that spacious house 45 minutes from work we are not taking into account the cost of our own time commuting back and forth. In 1965 the economist Jack Kain wrote that it is “crucial that, in making longer and longer journeys to work, households incur larger costs in both time and money. Since time is a scarce commodity, workers should demand some compensation for the time they spend commuting.” Most of tend not to do this, just taking into account the compensation for commuting is the more spacious household.2 economists from the University of Zurich attmepted to postulate how much we would need to be compensated to make up for such a hellish commute. They found that for every extra hour of commuting time, you would need to be compensated with a 40% increase in salary to make it worth while.So when someone says their commute is killing them, they might be correct.



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