Today, traffic is a problem in almost every city. And as the city grows, the expansion is inevitable. Usually, this leads to long commutes to work. If you are spending about 30 minutes each way, then you are spending an hour just commuting. Yes, the distance and the travel times are frustrating and something we all hate. But, is that it? Apart from spoiling your mood, does it do any more damage? A study was conducted in the UK with more than 34,000 workers by VitalityHealth, the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe, and Mercer. These companies took a closer look at what the long commutes were doing to their employees, such as, on their health, productivity, etc.
The results were quite surprising. It was found that the employees whose commute was less than 30 minutes gained additional days of productivity, which is not the case with people whose commute lasted longer. Also, did you know? Long commutes have a negative impact on both mental and physical health. It can lead to depression, worries about money, and even work-related stress. And, since the travelling consumes so much time, it can affect the sleep pattern and even cause obesity.
Below are other researches that show what long commutes do to your physical and mental health:
High Blood sugar
Driving more than 15 km each way can lead to high blood sugar. This was published by the research team of University School of Medicine in Saint Louis. Frequent high blood sugar levels can cause diabetes, damage your blood vessels and organs.
According to a report published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, when you drive about 15 km each way to your job, it can cause high cholesterol.
According to a research conducted by the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and Cooper Institute, Dallas, when you commute about 15 km to work each day, you are more at a risk of depression and social isolation. Plus, during these times when you are feeling low and blue, it becomes difficult to determine if it is actually because of a problem or just your occasional mood swings.
In the same report published by the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and Copper Institute in Dallas, it said that, when you travel more than 30 minutes each way to your work, it can cause high levels of stress. And, along with stress, anxiety can also become a problem. It is of course almost impossible to avoid the commute. However, you can do things that will help keep with your mental health, such as listen to audiobooks, podcasts, music or read a book, etc.
Temporary rise in Blood Pressure
When you head to your work, in the rush hours, the unnecessary tension of being late or of missing an important meeting, etc. can raise your blood pressure temporarily. Therefore, if you are someone who is usually stuck in the traffic or takes tension about the same, then it is better to leave home a little early to keep your health intact. Also, if you experience too much stress, try yoga. It is a great stress-buster.
Goodbye to Fitness
When you spend most of the time travelling back and forth, you are left with little or no time for physical activities. Exercise is indubitably important when it comes to maintaining the good health of your heart and an ideal weight.
When the commute is long, by the time you reach home, you are exhausted. Then you must do the nightly routine, which usually includes dinner, spending time with the family, TV, etc. So, by the time you go to bed, you have very few hours before you must wake up. And, you cannot make the mistake of waking up late since the travelling time is long. So, this usually hinders sleep. And, not getting enough sleep can leave you exhausted, cause mood swings, etc.
When you spend long hours travelling, you are sitting or sometimes standing. And, during this time we don't think even a little bit about the posture, which can cause backache.