Long Commutes Are Sucking The Life Out Of You

Long Commutes Are Sucking The Life Out Of You

Long drives to and from work don’t just suck up your time; these long commutes may also be hazardous to your health. Besides draining you mentally and forcing you to sit for extended periods through traffic jams, long commutes are linked to less sleep, high cholesterol and obesity.

This infographic from [email protected] spells out the mental and physical impact of commuting (and also explains where traffic comes from). The more time you spend commuting, the more you worry and the greater your health risks — partly because sitting too much wrecks your health and also because commuting is just plain stressful. A recent study of 4300 people in Texas further supports previous studies on the ill effects of commuting, linking long commutes to less physical activity, excess belly fat and higher blood pressure.

It isn’t easy to change your commuting time, but it may definitely pay off. Shortening your commute by 20 minutes might lower your risk of neck and back pain by 14 per cent, obesity by 20 per cent and heart attack by 300 per cent (see how different commuting times affect your health in this Gallup survey). If you can’t move or change your commute, this is just another reason to find more ways to move during the day and try to convince your boss to let you work from home.

Here’s the whole graphic (click to expand or right-click to save):


The Killer Commute [[email protected]]


  • Thanks LH, I found this quite interesting. Surprised to not see Australia up there on the chart with the long “average daily commutes”. Were we included in the sampling? Oh well 😛

    • Don’t be silly! This site doesn’t provide relative information for Australians, You’ll take your American facts and like it dammit!

  • i would tend to agree with some of what the info graphic presents. im lucky in which if I choose to and the weather is reasonable I can actually ride my bike to work and not really use any main roads/highways. Also with where I live, there is a stretch of vegetation for about 15 km which only has about 7 roads that actually cross it, so guess where all the traffic is.

  • Hmm, 90 degrees bad, 135 degrees with arms at full length good? How good will your back be when you break your arms in an accident because you panicked, tensed up and locked your elbow joints while bracing for impact.

    • Actually, the biggest risk is what ambos call “submarining” where you slide under the belts and dive for the footwell. People have been found dead in down in the footwell.

    • And what about us poor short people that wouldn’t be able to reach the steering wheel if we sat back at 135 degrees? 🙁 My arms are almost straight when I sit upright!

  • I don’t agree with the seat position. 135 degrees would result in lower back pain.
    I’ve seen alot of medical proffesionals recently because of an injured back and everyone has stated that my sitting position is too far back. I’m not sure about 90 degrees, but about 100 seems fine.
    Best posture is “dangle” your body by a string from the top of your head.

    • That’s based on old theories. I’ve had back problems for years and tried the old “sit upright” and “imagine you’re dangling from a hook on the top of your head” but it didn’t help. Eventually a decent osteopath who kept up to date with current research told me to slouch in my chair but ensure I had decent support behind my back. My back has been great since then.

  • LOL drivers.
    I may have to put up with Sydney Buses *ahem* “erratic” timetable, but I get to catch up on my podcasts, some feeds and FB on my way to work. And it’s actually faster than driving.

  • I’d be interested to see if all that commuter stress translates to a public transport setting. I catch the tram for 35 minutes to work and 45 minutes home again and it’s the time I use to catch up on my reading, music, Reddit, etc. I love my commute because it forces me to relax a bit.

    If you’re stuck on a freeway for two hours a day of course you’ll be brim-full of stress and divorces.

  • Current commute is 1.5hrs (bus-train and walking between) but I’m moving closer so it’ll be about 25 minutes 🙂

    I’ll miss the reading time, but god damn it will good to leave later and get home at a decent hour.

  • did get a divorce while I had a 45 minute+ commute. Moving so that I have a 10 minute commute was without question one of mt best decisions ever.

  • I’m thinking everything in that infographic suggests they’re talking purely about car-based commuting, not walking, cycling or public transport.

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