Cause: You’re sitting in traffic and a driver cuts in front of you.
Effect: Your blood pressure and frustration rise.
Cause: You’re late for a work meeting and still miles away from the office in bumper to bumper traffic.
Effect: You’re more stressed than you were when you left the house.
We know the feeling. And these stressful commute-related situations are a daily occurrence for many of us. But did you know your commute impacts your health?
According to Business Insider, long commutes can have a negative impact on mental well-being. These commuters are 33 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Sadness and irritability, two warning signs for heart disease, is also more common among people with long commutes. So, it’s no surprise that people with longer commutes have higher levels of depression, stress and anxiety.
Worried about your health as you’re hopping in your car for your commute home? There are several ways you can reduce stress on your commute:
- Bike or walk to work: Studies have shown that people who bike or walk to work have a lower chance of becoming obese than those that drive. In addition, commuters who walk or bike to work report being happier than those that drive.
- Try transit: Not only is taking transit better for the environment, it also reduces stress levels. Let someone else do the driving so you can catch up on emails, nap, or simply have some time to relax.
- Carpool: Save money on gas, spend quality time with friends and family, and reduce air pollution. Health benefits all around; we can even help you find a carpool partner!
- Telework: Avoid traffic altogether and work from home. You’ll save money, reduce stress and you can put that time you would otherwise spend in traffic getting work done or doing something you love.
- Exercise: Sweating it out not only keeps you healthy physically, but mentally. And if driving to work is your only option, exercise is even more important to combat sitting the majority of the day.