Long commutes to work with delays in traffic queues and slow-crawls through cities and towns are anything but fun. With the average commuter in Britain driving for 1 hour 38 minutes to work and back each day, millions of us are simply ‘putting up’ with the anguish of commuting to work. Though are ours daily commutes to the office and back home again doing more harm to our health and wellbeing than we may think?
Take a look at the five following ways regular commuting negatively impacts your mental and physical damage.
Causes a spike in blood pressure
With a million and one things to be doing other than sitting in a three-mile traffic queue watching the clock ticking, it’s no secret that commuting to work can be stressful and the longer the commute is, the more tense it is.
When we are in stressful situations, the body produces a surge in hormones. By making our heart beat faster and the blood vessels to narrow, these hormones cause a temporary increase in blood pressure.
Increase in blood sugar levels
Research shows that driving for at least ten miles to get to work and back, is linked with higher blood sugar. An increase in blood sugar levels can put us in danger of being susceptible to pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Can make us more prone to anxiety and depression
Common sense prevails that starting each day with a lengthy and arduous commute to work does not fill us with joy and exhilaration. However, research has revealed the implications daily commutes can have on our mental health and wellbeing can be more serious than we may have thought.
A report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that people who commute for more than half an hour to work each way have higher levels of anxiety and stress than those who have shorter commutes or don’t commute to work at all. The ONS report shows that those with a 30-minute plus commute to work showed the lowest levels of happiness and life satisfaction.
We can gain weight and lose our fitness
It stands to reason that being sat in a car for lengthy periods each day won’t do our waistline many favours! Commuting long distances to work is associated with decreased cardio fitness and weight gain. When we are sat in a car we are completely inactive and thereby burn very few calories. Consequently, if we don’t ‘make up’ for such inactivity during other times of the day, regular long commutes can lead to weight gain and reduced cardio fitness.
Our sleep can suffer
The increased anxiety commuting can cause, alongside the inactivity and decease in fitness levels and other potential problems being sat in a car for long periods of time can cause, such as backache, our sleep can suffer as a result of our ongoing battles to get to work.
If possible, you should seriously consider ditching the car in favour of healthy ways to get to work, like cycling or walking. If cycling, jogging or walking isn’t an option, consider using public transport, such as trains and buses, at least this way you won’t be in the driver’s seat, which can be the most stressful part of commuting to work.
You may even want to consider working from an office in a more rural location. As we wrote in an earlier blog, offices that are located away from city centres means the commute to work can be significantly more pleasant. And with less traffic to contend with and a more scenic route to travel through, rural office locations can create a more stress-free ride to work!
If you’re looking for new office space in Leeds where you won’t have to battle with city centre traffic and can drive straight into a free onsite parking spot with a cup of freshly brewed coffee waiting for you, get in touch with Carrwood Park and book to visit our stylish office on the outskirts of Leeds.