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Your commute is affecting your well-being

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If you’re finding yourself spent by the time you arrive at your desk, your long morning commute may be to blame.

A study conducted by the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics found commutes lasting longer than 30 minutes have a direct impact on respondents’ well-being.

Additionally, commutes which last between 61 and 95 minutes were found to have the most negative effect.

The report, which surveyed about 55,000 UK commuters, found while even short 15 minute bus rides can impact a person’s well-being, train commuters only reported negative side effects after 30 minutes of travel.

“Beyond this journey time, the only aspect of personal well-being which is negatively affected is anxiety which is higher among those travelling more than 30 minutes by train compared to those spending only up to 15 minutes on their commute,” the report said.

In fact, once a commute has passed the half an hour mark, every additional minute of travel resulted to a decrease in well-being and an increase in anxiety.

Those who commute to work were also found to be less satisfied with their lives, rated their daily activities as less worthwhile and reported less happiness and higher anxiety than non-commuters or those who worked from home.

“Given the loss of personal well-being generally associated with commuting, the results suggest that other factors such as higher income or better housing may not fully compensate the individual commuter for the negative effects associated with travelling to work and that people may be making sub-optimal choices,” the report said.

Although these results are reflective of the UK population, do you think locals who have to commute for more than half an hour are similarly affected?

Is the responsibility then on companies to offer more flexible working arrangements to offset the negative emotional impact caused by long commutes, or are employees right in factoring travel time when considering job opportunities?

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