Study: Commuting To Work By Car Or Public Transport Could Be Making You Sick
Commuter rage could be damaging your health, according to new research. Swedish scientists have discovered that those who travel to work by car or public transport not only suffer more stress but have more days off sick than those who walk or cycle.
The research by Lund University involved 21,000 of people who worked full-time aged between 18 to 64 years old. They found that commuters who drive or sat on a bus or train to and from work, suffer from irregular sleep patterns and have higher stress levels than those who were more active.
"Generally car and public transport users suffered more everyday stress, poorer sleep quality, exhaustion and, on a seven point scale, felt that they struggled with their health compared to the active commuters," says professor Erik Hanssen from the study.
The research also found that the longer the commute, the worse your health is likely to become. "The negative health of public transport users increased with journey time," added Hanssen.
However, the study wasn't able to point the blame entirely on the daily commute and ill health, as researchers believe there are many other variables that could contribute towards a lengthy commute and illness. These include efficiency of transport, personal circumstances and the areas travelled to and from.
If you commute to work by car or train and find that its damaging your health and well being, try life coach Sophia Davis' top tips on how to have a stress-free commute.
"Perhaps you have been thinking too much, and need just to clear out the mental (and physical noise. Sit and draw your attention to your breathing. You don't even need to close your eyes to do this. "Notice the beat of your heart and how fast or slow it is. Be aware of every breath in and every breath out consciously releasing stress on each outward breath. Before you know it, the journey will be over and you will be floating home."
Listen To Relaxing Music
"You can download meditation mp3's free online or relaxing music of nature or gentle instruments. Play this on your journey home and try to visualise a place for you which you find relaxing. You will feel the stress leaving your body and be ready to start your evening."
"Why not use the time to make a list of things you want to achieve that week? Plan your next holiday, or make your christmas list. Its not often we get time to do these types of things in what can be a hectic life, so use it to your benefit, know that its time for you, and start to enjoy and make use of your commuting time."
Read A Book
"How about taking a good book into work with you and using your commute to escape into it. Try to read something that you can really get stuck into and before you know it, you will be excited for your next commute instead of dreading it."
Enjoy 'You' Time
"The average commute time is between 30 mins and 1 hour. Use this time to gather your thoughts. Perhaps you've had a stressful day and want to use this time to gain some perspective on it so it doesn't overtake your evening. "Or maybe something has been bothering you for a while, and you can use this time to think through possible solutions, and work out strategies to leave it in the past and start moving forward."