One day in late June, something in my e-mail inbox caught my attention. It was an article from www.dailymail.co.uk titled The secret to happiness? DON’T commute: Workers with long journeys to work ‘worry more’
As someone who commuted 42 miles each way every work day for a year in I-270 traffic, I believe this to be true; however, sometimes it’s easier said than done to avoid a long commute to work. That said, here’s the text of the article. You can judge for yourself if this rings true to you, too:
Cutting your daily commute could be the key to happiness, researchers believe.
Forty per cent of people who commute for more than three hours per day ‘experience worry’ for much of the day. In contrast, only 28% of people with commutes of less than ten minutes are regularly worried.
The survey, conducted for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index – an assessment of the health and happiness of U.S. residents, also revealed that people with very long commutes tend to feel more tiredness and less enjoyment during their working day.
The researchers found that when people report their levels of enjoyment of each of the activities in their daily routine, the morning commute comes last, Priceonomics reported.
Commuting is also detrimental to people’s happiness as workers with long commutes tend to have less time for socializing with family and friends. However, it is not only our happiness that can be compromised by a long commute. Lengthy journeys to work can also play havoc with our health – commuters suffer from more recurring back and neck pain, sleep less well, take less exercise, and eat less home-cooked food than those who do not commute.
The news comes shortly after it was revealed that Britons typically risk serious injury 32 times during their weekly commute and 1.7 million have had to take time off work after getting hurt. Accidents most commonly occur due to crossing roads without looking properly, running down escalators and eating on the move. Other hazards include jumping onto a bus or train as the doors close, which 40 per cent of commuters admit to doing, and nipping into the road to overtake slow walkers, which 39 per cent do.
Commuters also confess to waiting in the middle of the road for traffic to clear and 35 per cent say they duck and weave through crowds. The average commuter takes more than 1,600 risks which could result in serious injury a year, the report revealed. Train commuters are most at risk at 8.29am because this is when major stations are at their busiest.
Women take more risks commuting than men – 35 per week – and workers in Manchester top the list of biggest risk takers – they take 48 risks per week, according to the research by insurance company LV.
Note to self: no matter how much money you’ll make driving down the road, don’t let that sway you unless you’re willing to move down the road to be closer to the worksite. Often easier said than done, but something to consider!