June 29, 2015

Is Commuting The Unhealthiest Part Of Your Day?

Do you commute? At least 128.3 million Americans commute to work daily. Commuting is a part of life, but it’s not a very healthy part of your day. Did you know that your commute may be slowly killing you? Luckily, there are a few tricks to make commuting healthier.

Auto Drivaway Girl in White Car Photo

Depending on where you live and what you do, your commute may be a short walk to the local bakery, a quick bike ride to the climbing gym, a fast bus ride to the local ski resort, or an agonizingly long car ride in smoggy traffic to the dreaded cubicle. Pretty much everyone commutes in some capacity. When searching for a job, always consider your commute!

Let’s take a look at commuting. Some of these facts may be eye-openers for you. According to USA Today, the average commute is 25.5 minutes each way. That’s almost an hour a day. StatisticBrain.com claims that 128.3 million Americans commute each day, with 3.3 million commuting over 50 miles one way! Approximately 75.7% of people drive alone. Unfortunately, commuting is a necessary evil.

We found an article on TIME that highlights the health dangers of commuting. Most likely, they all apply to you if you commute. When you commute your more prone to these health issues:

  • Prone To Be In A Bad Mood
  • Increases Blood Sugar
  • Prone To Higher Cholesterol
  • Increased Risk of Depression
  • Increased Anxiety
  • Decline In Happiness and Life Satisfaction
  • Temporary Spike In Blood Pressure
  • Long Term Increase In Blood Pressure
  • Drop In Cardiovascular Fitness
  • Prone to Back Aches
  • Sleep Suffers
  • Prone To Weight Gain and Obesity

Yikes! Add in the hazards of everyday driving, and it’s probably best not to commute, right? Combine the health risks of commuting with the health risks of sitting at a desk all day and it might be time to reconsider your entire lifestyle! If you choose the right job you can shorten your commute time, save time in your day, and reduce the risks to your health. Alternatively, you can keep the same job and just plan to relocate to shorten your commute time. Or better yet, find a work from home job!

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to completely eliminate your commute. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to make your commute a little bit healthier. Try these simple solutions:

  • Stay Hydrated
  • Bring Healthy Snacks
  • Be Aware Of Your Posture
  • Turn Off The Phone
  • Take A Power Nap (But Not If You’re The Driver!)
  • Get Some Fresh Air
  • Go Green
  • Breathe and Relax
  • Walk or Bike
  • Buddy Up

Commuting is a part of life. Make the most of it. If you truly hate the commute or you fear the health risks, find a healthy job that gets you outside. You’ll probably enjoy it more anyways. You can always convince your boss to let you telecommute too!

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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