Feeds

Public transport 'is bad for commuters' health'

Long car journeys better for you than short ones, too

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Swedish researchers have carried out a survey which, they say, reveals that commuting by public transport or by car damages people's health compared to making the journey to work by foot or bicycle. Curiously, the research also appeared to show that a long commute by car led to better health than a short drive in.

The survey covered some 21,088 Swedes all of whom worked more than 30 hours a week. Their perceived healthiness was measured by asking questions related to general health, sleep quality, exhaustion and everyday stress, and the results assessed against the length of their journeys to work and the means of transport used.

Perhaps obviously, the cyclists and walkers came out tops for how healthy they were feeling, with drivers in general and users of public transport feeling comparatively grotty. For the public transport users, the longer the journey the worse they felt: but among drivers, those who had a journey over an hour long felt in better shape than those with a short trip of 30 to 60 minutes.

"Generally car and public transport users suffered more everyday stress, poorer sleep quality, exhaustion and, on a seven-point scale, felt that they struggled with their health compared to the active commuters," comments Prof Erik Hansson of Lund Uni. "The negative health of public transport users increased with journey time. However, the car drivers who commuted 30 – 60 minutes experienced worse health than those whose journey lasted more than one hour."

Hansson and his colleagues aren't sure why the long-distance drivers felt in such good shape compared to those who spent less time behind the wheel, but he offers some ideas.

"One explanation for the discrepancy between car and public transport users might be that long-distance car commuting, within our geographical region, could provide more of an opportunity for relaxation," he commented. "However, it could be that these drivers tended to be men, and high-income earners, who travelled in from rural areas, a group that generally consider themselves to be in good health. More research needs to be done to identify how exactly commuting is related to the ill health we observed in order to readdress the balance between economic needs, health, and the costs of working days lost."

The study is published in full today by BMC Public Health. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Do you spend ages wasting time because of a bulging rack?
No more cloud-latency tea breaks for you, users! Get a load of THIS
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.