The Way You Commute Could Hurt Your Health

Walkers, bikers healthier than drivers: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2011 12:46 PM CDT
The Way You Commute Could Hurt Your Health
Commuting may be a hazard to your well-being.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Whether you drive, ride the train, or catch the bus, commuting to work could be hurting your health, a study suggests. In a survey of 21,000 workers ages 18 to 65, Swedish researchers found that car and public transit commuters cited worse health, more stress and exhaustion, and more missed workdays than did "active" commuters—that is, those who bike or walk to work, ABC News reports. The study did not directly identify the more passive methods of transportation as a cause of health issues.

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Moreover, longer commutes on public transport were linked to poorer health. "We know that people who have a lot of demands and very little control over how they meet those demands are at a higher risk for negative health effects," says an expert. "And when you're relying on a train to get to work, it's totally out of your control most of the time." More research is needed to figure out just how commuting is related to health, a researcher notes. In the meantime, commuters should identify coping strategies to cut down on stress. "If you miss a train, ask yourself: is it important?" suggests the expert. "Is it appropriate for me to be worried?" (Read more commuting stories.)

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