By: Mission Healthy Living
September 30, 2019
If you walk or bike to work, consider yourself lucky. As an active commuter, your method of getting to your job is contributing to a healthy lifestyle. But for many of us, active commuting isn’t an option. According to the Brookings Institute, over 76% of Americans drive to work alone every day.
This sedentary activity of commuting – something we do day after day, year after year, decade after decade – can take its toll on our health.
A study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that a commute of just 10-miles long was associated with an increase in high blood pressure. For those with longer commutes, or “super commuters” who travel three or four hours a day, the physical effects of driving to work are more extensive, including:
• Higher blood pressure
• Higher cortisol levels
• Higher risk of getting into a car accident
• Increased exposure to air pollution and respiratory problems
• Poorer diet
• Increased chance of obesity
Compounding the physical effects of a long commute are the adverse effects on a commuter’s mental health.
If you drive to work every day, here are a few steps you can take to have a healthier commute. Also, always drive responsibly and put the phone down until you get to your destination. There’s no need to add “distracted driving” to the already long list of harmful effects of commuting.