Kaid Benfield Archive


"Your commute is killing you"

Kaid Benfield

Posted June 3, 2011 at 1:28PM

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  evening commute in Phoenix (by: Octavio Heredia, creative commons license)

So says the headline to a provocative article in Slate by Annie Lowrey.  Among the tidbits in her article:

  • Swedish research:  Couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40 percent likelier to divorce.
  • Texas:  Out of 19 typical daily activities, respondents ranked commuting dead last for enjoyment.
  • Gallup:  40 percent of employees who spend more than 90 minutes getting home from work "experienced worry for much of the previous day."  
  • That number falls to 28 percent for those with "negligible" commutes of 10 minutes or less.  
  • Gallup:  One in three workers with a 90-minute daily commute has recurrent neck or back problems.
  • Brown University:  A worker with a negligible commute and a 12-hour workday is healthier than one with an hour-long commute and a 10-hour workday, even though total time consumption is the same.
  • UCLA & Cal State-Long Beach:  Vehicle-miles traveled had a stronger correlation with obesity than any other lifestyle factor.
  • US Census:  Average one-way commuting time has steadily crept up over the course of the past five decades, and now sits at 24 minutes (although we routinely under-report the time it really takes us to get to work). About one in six workers commutes for more than 45 minutes, each way.  
  • US Census:  About 3.5 million Americans commute a whopping 90 minutes each way; their number has doubled since 1990. 

Read the article in its entirety here.

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