Is the commute bad for your health?

More than three million of us spend over two hours a day travelling to and from work every day – a 72% increase over the last decade.

A study from the TUC also found that the average UK commute time increased by three minutes a day between 2004 and 2014, from 52 to 55 minutes.

So we’re all well aware the daily commute can be a bit of a pain – but did you know it can actually be bad for your health? Here’s why…

Blood sugar and cholesterol increase

A report written by researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas outlined that drivign more than 10 miles each way, both to and from work, means you’re more susceptible to higher blood sugar levels, which can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes.

To make matters worse, the same report found that similar commutes were also associated with higher cholesterol levels, which is a warning sign for heart disease.

Blood pressure rises

Another physical side-effect of the daily commute is an increase in blood pressure – both temporarily and in the long-term.

As if commuting during rush hour wasn’t bad enough, it’s made even worse if you’re worried you could be late for work – and all this stress can lead to a temporary spike in blood pressure and, even more worryingly, a longer term rise in blood pressure that is a factor in both heart disease and strokes.

Increased risk of anxiety and depression

A report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that commuting more than half an hour to work each way led to reports of higher levels of stress and anxiety than those with shorter commutes or no commutes at all.

And in the same report that found commuting led to increased cholesterol and blood sugar levels, researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas also found people with commutes of at least 10 miles each way have a higher tendency toward depression, anxiety, and social isolation.

Lack of sleep and backache

The Regus Work-Life Balance Index for 2012 found people who commute for longer than 45 minutes each way reported lower sleep quality and more exhaustion than those with shorter commutes.

And to make it even harder to get your head down, the bad posture associated with being sat in a car seat as either a driver or a passenger can badly affect your back.

So it looks like working from home could be better for you than anyone ever imagined – that said, working from home can be bad for your health too.

Find out how bad your commute is, here.

Have  you ever suffered as a result of the commute? Let us know…

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