Commuting long distances bad for health

October 31st, 2011 - 12:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 31 (IANS) Daily long distance commuting seems worthwhile if it is for a better job or house, but it could be bad for your health.

New research shows that commuting by car or public transport, compared to walking or cycling, is tied with negative effects on health.

Lund University researchers looked at 21,000 people, aged between 18 and 65, who worked over 30 hours a week and commuted either by car, train or bus, or were active commuters, who walked or cycled, reports the journal BMC Public Health.

‘One way’ journey time was compared to the volunteer’s perceived general health, including sleep quality, exhaustion and everyday stress, according to a Lund statement.

“Generally car and public transport users suffered more everyday stress, poorer sleep quality, exhaustion” explained Erik Hansson from the Lund Faculty of Medicine.

On a seven point scale, we felt they struggled with their health compared to those who walked or cycled to workplaces,” Hansson added.

The negative health of public transport users increased with journey time. However, the car drivers who commuted 30-60 minutes experienced worse health than those whose journey
lasted more than one hour.

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