Long Commute May Impact Health Negatively According to New Study

By Emily Murray

While it is rare to meet anyone who particularly enjoys a long commute, more than simply boredom and frustration are at risk. According to a new study, these extended commute times may actually take a toll on overall health.

This new information was released as part of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine this month. Essentially this new study has concluded that the longer a person spends each day on the average commute, the more at risk they are for developing cardiovascular challenges later on in life.

Essentially it comes down to the basics of health that we are already fairly familiar with – inactivity can lead to health complications. This in itself isn’t entirely new, however, this is the first study to directly correlate commute time with overall poor health.

A recent USA Today article also reported this new study and quoted a comment from the study’s author stating the significance of the research –

From USA Today:

“”This is the first study to show that people who commute long distances to work were less fit, weighed more, were less physically active and had higher blood pressure,” said Christine M. Hoehner, a public health professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the study’s lead author. “All those are strong predictors of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.”

Considering not only the inactivity that comes along with driving but also the stress and anxiety many often feel as well, it should come as no real surprise that this combination is not a winning one.

So what are you supposed to do if you can’t avoid your long commute?

Just as with those who do not have a long commute, remaining active and maintaining a healthy diet is extremely important, perhaps even more so for those who do sit in the car for a prolonged period of time each day.