A new study from the UK has revealed that Cycling or walking to work increases the feeling of wellbeing among commuters. Our increasing need to move from A to B at the fastest possible pace may not be the best thing for us.
Constant rushing creates stress, and constantly moving at a breakneck pace frees up time to cram even more stuff into our already busy lives.
From the BBC:
Lead researcher Adam Martin, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Our study shows that the longer people spend commuting in cars, the worse their psychological wellbeing. And correspondingly, people feel better when they have a longer walk to work.”
Mr Martin said the study’s finding that commuters felt better when travelling by public transport, compared with driving, was “surprising”.
“You might think that things like disruption to services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress.
“But as buses or trains also give people time to relax, read, socialise, and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station, it appears to cheer people up.”
The study, carried out at UEA’s Norwich Medical School and the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York, used data on nearly 18,000 adult commuters from across the UK over 18 years.
Out of this group, 73% said they went to work by car, 13% walked and 3% cycled to work. About 11% used public transport on their commute.
Those who had an active commute were found to have a higher level of wellbeing than those who went by car or public transport.
This was a very comprehensive study that took many factors such as moving homes, having children and job and relationship changes into account. In view of the results maybe we all need to stop and think and slow things down a little.
With the numbers of people suffering from mental health issues increasing year on year, our modern lifestyle has often been cited as a causative factor. If a simple thing like taking our time over the journey to work can make a difference, not only how people feel but to their concentration levels and general demeanor, then it would make sense to look at other aspects of our lifestyles that could be affecting our general health and adjust them accordingly.