Feeds

Public transport 'is bad for commuters' health'

Long car journeys better for you than short ones, too

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.