Commuting by car or public transport can negatively impact health

The University of Lund in Sweden in its recent Public Health Survey into Commuting and Health Outcomes found that commuting to work by car, train or bus is more detrimental to your health than if you walked or cycled.

Researchers based their results on a public health survey of 21,000 full time workers aged between 18 and 65 in southern Sweden.

The study could not prove that commuting by car, train or bus directly caused ill health but the study found that generally car and public transport users suffered more everyday stress, poorer sleep quality and exhaustion compared to active commuters. Car and public transport users also felt that they struggled with their health a lot more as a result of their mode of transport.

The team also found that the negative implications of public transport on health increased with journey time, while those who commuted by car for over an hour reported better health than those who drove between 30 and 60 minutes on a daily basis.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average UK citizen commutes for 54 minutes every day.

The Swedish study has recently been published in the British Medical Council’s Public Health Journal

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