Bad Traffic Is Bad for You
Traffic's a bummer, no matter where you live or how long your commute. But a recent story from Health.com sheds light on scientific reasons to hate those minutes wasted in the car.
Drawing on a variety of studies and polls conducted over the past eight years, the article argues that a daily commute longer than 30 minutes can negatively impact your health and well-being, especially targeted to weight gain and stress levels. Which is bad news for Dallas-Fort Worth professionals, who sit in some of the worst traffic in the nation.
According to a 2012 report cited by Health.com, the longer our commute, the more likely we are to be overweight. Researchers contend that the time spent traveling cuts into the time we could use for exercising, resulting in higher weight levels — especially for those who commute by car.
Separate conclusions show that car drivers tend to weigh five or six pounds more than those who take alternative transportation.
Research like this 2014 study suggest that our mental health is at stake as well. "People who drove, carpooled or took public transportation to work were less able to enjoy daily activities and had more trouble concentrating compared to walkers or cyclists," Health.com summarizes.
Other studies back that up: In 2014, researchers in the UK found links between long commutes and high anxiety levels and lower life satisfaction. A 2012 study found that traveling by car or having a commute longer than 30 minutes correlated with higher blood pressure.
So if you think you feel your blood pressure rising as you sit in traffic on the Tollway for an hour, it probably is. Don't you wish you worked from home?