22/08/2011 14:09 BST | Updated 22/10/2011 06:12 BST

How To Take The Stress Out Of Your Daily Commute

Despite spending less time travelling to work and back, women are more likely to suffer stress from their daily commute, a new survey suggests.

The British Household Panel Survey is an annual questionnaire completed by households around the UK. A team of researchers at the London School of Economics and the University of Sheffield then analysed the data.

It was suggested that women may be more concerned about time spent commuting because they are often responsible for a greater proportion of day-to-day household tasks, such as childcare and cleaning, than men.

Jennifer Roberts, professor of economics at the University of Sheffield, said: “We know that women, especially those with children, are more likely to add daily errands to their commute, such as food shopping and dropping-off and picking-up children from childcare.

“These time constraints and the reduced flexibility that comes with them make commuting stressful in a way that it wouldn't be otherwise.”

The findings of the survey are published in the Journal of Health Economics and suggest that woman may need to find ways to cope with the stress of commuting, as the problem can be a catalyst for other conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and heart disease.

We spoke to The Stress Management Society who have put together some simple tips in conjunction with RESCUE Remedy to alleviate stress whilst sitting in traffic or on public transport:


… And breathe…

1. Sit or stand in a relaxed position.

2. Slowly inhale through your nose, counting to five in your head.

Let the air out from your mouth, counting to eight in your head as it leaves your lungs. Repeat several times. That’s it!

3. As you breathe, let your abdomen expand outward, rather than raising your shoulders. This is a more relaxed and natural way to breathe, and helps your lungs fill themselves more fully with fresh air, releasing more “old” air

4. You can do this just a few times to release tension, or for several minutes as a form of meditation.

5. If you like, you can make your throat a little tighter as you exhale so the air comes out like a whisper. This type of breathing is used in some forms of yoga and can add additional tension relief.

Put the pressure on

Gently massage the acupressure points either side of the bridge of your nose and around your eyes.

Pull faces

Relieve tension in the face by lifting the eyebrows. Then drag your fingertips – pressing firmly – from your forehead to the back of your head.