Active commuters enjoy demonstrable health benefits, says new study
It’s a common misconception that a cyclist with a five or ten-mile commute must arrive at the office more tired than her car-driving colleague; according to a study of more than 21,000 adults: workers who travel by car or public transport suffer higher levels of stress and tiredness than those who cycle or walk.
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden found that car and public transport users felt that they struggled with their health compared to active commuters. Among the problems experienced were perceived poor sleep quality, everyday stress, low vitality, mental health, self-reported health, and absence from work due to sickness during the past 12 months. British workers each take an average of 6.5 sick day per year.
The report found that the car drivers with a journey of between 30 minutes and an hour suffered the most stress and the detrimental effect on health from using public transport increased with journey time.
A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: ‘People commute for long distances for higher salaries or better housing, but this study suggests they may be paying for this with their health.’