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Study: Commuting bad for health

2011-11-04 10:00

DUMP THE CAR: Perhaps easier said than done, although a Swedish study has found more reasons - apart from the obvious health benefits - why walking or cycling to work is best.

A study has found that people who commute to work are more likely to suffer from stress and exhaustion but don't fear, Jozi drivers, there's a way around this...

The study, conducted by Lund University in Sweden, surveyed 12 000 employees aged 18-65, the Daily Mail said.

Scientists found people who travelled to work by car, bus or train reported higher levels of stress and exhaustion than those who walked or cycled to work.


The Daily Mail quoted researcher Erik Hansson as saying: “Generally car and public transport users suffer more everyday stress, poorer sleep, exhaustion and, on a seven-point scale, felt that they struggled with their health compared to the active commuters."

Alarmingly, the study also found that the “negative health of public transport users increased with journey time”. Not good news for South Africa’s marathon commuters, particularly after a recent global study found Johannesburg to be one of the “most painful” cities for commuters.

Based on the study’s finding, the scientists now claim that daily travel and its health effects need to be considered against higher salaries, family backgrounds and environmental factors.

However, he added that the findings didn't prove that commuting caused ill-health - further research was needed.

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