Walking Or Biking To Work May Make You Happier With Your Commute

Walking or Biking to Work May Make You Happier With Your Commute

Walking or riding a bike to work is often seen as a way to save money or get some exercise. However, it may also have another benefit: it could make you happier with your commute.

Photo by Missy S

Walking or biking to work isn't always a feasible option (where I live in Atlanta, for example, many commutes can be between 30-60 minutes of driving time). However, in cities where it is possible, those who can avoid cars or stuffy public transport may find they enjoy their commute more.

That was certainly the case for Montreal. In a study at McGill University of 3377 students, staff, and faculty, researches found that those who walked or biked (as well as those who took intercity rail) were most satisfied with their commute. Sometimes even if it made their commute take longer:

Travel time obviously matters: on the whole, people with longer commutes were less satisfied with them. But to walkers, bikers, and bus riders, an extra ten minutes of commuting only reduced satisfaction by about half as much as it did for drivers, or metro or train riders.

Of course saving money and getting a workout could help a lot of people feel more satisfied with life in general, but there are plenty of reasons why this in particular can make commuters happier. Walking or biking generally means you have to plan further ahead and you're in less of a rush. You are also rarely slowed down by circumstances outside of your control. Until pedestrian gridlock becomes a thing, anyway.

Biking or walking to work will make you happier and healthier [Vox]


Comments

    I will guarantee no one riding a bus is happier than someone driving a car...

      The person enjoying a book or movie on the bus could be a lot happier than a gridlocked car driver.
      Of course riding a bike is more fun than both!

        I prefer listening to an audiobook in my car than squeezed into a can with smelly/loud people.

          I don't like to drive, it creates stress when you don't need it especially in those peak hour times. On the bus/train I was able to just get out my knitting or some other non technology related thing to learn (origami being the other one) and just let someone else deal with the headache of other people.
          ...but then we moved closer to avoid needing to rely on public transport or driving and bought a bike and sold my car and I have to agree that walking and riding is much more therapeutic.
          although now I am not learning anything trinckety as much any more as I don't have that sitting time on the public transport so there is that to think about as well

        And you get chiselled legs without having to put extra gym time aside!

        My half-hour public transport trip was replaced by a half hour bike ride (including going the longer scenic route to avoid having to cross any traffic). I've found it's a great way to wake up in the morning and de-stress in the afternoon.

    If your commute is 15km or less, then it is a great way to get around in peak travel times. However if your like me and live 30km away from the office then its a slightly different matter. However the extra time/distance on the bike is definately a great way to train and get fitness in.

    I did the Cadel Evans public cycling event (110km distance) in January this year, I only got one long distance ride in prior to the event, all my other training was commuting to/from work, a lot. All up just riding to/from work during January I covered 550km plus a 95 km training ride and managed to complete 110 in 4 hours 21 minutes.

    Riding to work would be a lot more pleasant if it wasn't for psycho impatient car drivers showing a complete lack of tolerance for cyclists. Not saying that all cyclists are perfect and obey the road rules, but at the end of the day if a bike hits a car, the worst that can happen is that the car gets dented. If a car hits a bike, the worst that can happen is that the cyclist dies.

    I need my car for meetings and so fourth. Work doesn't provide an onsite car. I'm 4km's away. I used to bike ride to work. But it's getting unsafe because of the industrial area full of trucks. No bike path.

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