Where Every Woman Has A Voice


Long Commutes = Bad Marriages & Bad Health

Posted November 1, 2011 by felicialavette in Featured

Although a daily commute to work can mean better pay or housing, it can cause negative effects when it comes to your health and marriage.

New research from Lund University shows that commuting by car or public transportation, as opposed to walking or cycling, can cause an increase in everyday stress. Researchers analyzed 21,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65 who worked full time and commuted to work. Results showed that those who traveled by car or public transit suffered from more stress, poorer sleep quality, exhaustion and felt that they struggled with their health. However, longer commute times did not necessarily correspond to higher amounts of stress. Those who traveled 30 to 60 minutes by car were actually more stressed than those who had to travel more than one hour. Researchers suspect this is because those with a longer commute had more time to relax.

According a Swedish study, 11% of Swedes have a journey to work that consists of a 45-minute commute or longer. Many commuters have small children and are in a relationship. Most are men. In families where the man commutes, the woman is often forced to take a less qualified job closer to home, which means both less money as well as a larger share of the responsibility for kids and household. Although women commuters also experience an increase in salary and career prospects, earlier studies have shown that they experience more stress and feel less successful career-wise than commuting men.

The risk of divorce goes up by 40 percent for commuters and the risk is the highest in the first few years of commuting. After five years, most commuters and their families have managed to adapt to the situation. The study did mention that both the journey to work and the working hours are getting longer.

Have you noticed health problems or a strain on your relationship due to your commute to work?



Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)
The study was based on statistical data from two million Swedish households between 1995 and 2000.

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