Commuting is often a time consuming and stressful activity for Americans and other citizens in the western world. The average commuting time in the United States is 50 minutes. In Britain, the average commuting time is 54 minutes. Stress can come from getting stuck in traffic, from missing buses and trains, or riding public transportation that is late. A recent study in the UK shows that in general, women experience more stress than men when it comes to commuting to work.
Commuting to Work and Stress
The University of Sheffield in the UK did a study on data between 1991-2004 that was gathered by the British Household Panel Survey. They found that women experienced higher levels of stress from commuting than men.
The highest affected group was women with pre-school children. They were 4 times more likely to experience mental problems, in comparison to men who also had pre-school aged children.
The researchers believe that the added stress comes from women having to do more errands before coming home. They are more likely to be responsible for buying food from the grocery store and for picking up and leaving their children at the day care.
They also found that women, who experienced the most stress, were those that felt dissatisfied with the amount of free time they had.
In comparison, single women that didn’t have children or were more focused on their career experienced less stress from commuting to work.
Stress from Commuting To Work is a Major Issue
A recent report by Duke University was published; showing that adrenaline produced by long-term stress can actually damage the DNA of a person.
Professor Robert Leifkowitz was the lead in the study, and he says, “This could give us a plausible explanation of how chronic stress may lead to a variety of human conditions and disorders, which range from merely cosmetic, like graying hair, to life-threatening disorders like malignancies.”
Ways to Relieve Stress from Commuting to Work
While commuting to work may create tension and worry, there are different ways to minimize it. One suggestion is to plan everything ahead of time. Anything that needs to be packed and organized should be done the night before. This cuts out the stress of having to prepare before work.
Sleep plays a major role in how a person also deals with stress, so it’s recommended that a person should sleep early if possible. With enough sleep the night before, it’s good to also wake up early. This gives someone time to prepare and not to feel rushed in the morning.
Since commuting implies long hours of sitting, it’s also helpful to have a cushion or pillow to support the lower back. Sitting often leads to slumping, which squeezes the disks of the lower back and may cause back problems. Having a cushion helps support this region and prevents slumping.
Commuting to Work: Women Experience More Stress
Commuting to Work: Pre-School Mothers
Commuting to Work: Dealing with Commutes
Commuting to Work: Extreme Commuting