Feeds

Public transport 'is bad for commuters' health'

Long car journeys better for you than short ones, too

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Lenovo to finish $2.1bn IBM x86 server gobble in October
A lighter snack than expected – but what's a few $100m between friends, eh?
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone
News of the Weird: Screen-rotating technology declared unpatentable
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.