Commuting is a tradition that probably dates back practically to the invention of the automobile. Over the decades, though, increased population density, urban sprawl and ever-increasing vehicle ownership have increased commute times substantially. Even worse, they’ve turned commuting into a miserable, environmentally damaging slog for many people. While we all know finding alternative ways of getting to work helps the environment, there are some other benefits.
A daily drive to work doesn’t just seem to damage your health, it actually does damage your health in demonstrable ways. For example, it drives up your blood sugar levels, which increases your chances of developing diabetes. It also drives up your blood pressure. Higher blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
Commuting can cause chronic backaches, damage sleep quality and reduce cardiovascular health. Simply put, commuting is bad for you. Finding alternatives, such as public transit or riding a bicycle to work, helps offset these negative effects.
Reduced Risk of Accident
There are millions of automobile accidents in the US every year. While many of these accidents are comparatively minor fender-benders, some of them cause serious injuries or death. There is a direct relationship between how much time you spend driving and your chances of getting into an accident.
The less time you spend driving, the fewer chances you have of getting into an accident. As an added bonus, if you don’t get into an accident, you also don’t need to enlist the services of an automobile accident attorney.
Better Sense of Well-Being
In addition to the physical costs associated with commuting, you also face costs to your overall well-being from a daily commute. A commute can create feelings of isolation and increase your stress levels. Both of these factors can cripple your sense of well-being.
Switching from a daily drive to another mode of commuting, such as public transit, walking or biking can actually lead to an overall increase in your sense of well-being. This holds true even when other stressful events happen in your life.
While car ownership and a daily commute might well be part of American culture, it doesn’t follow that commuting is a good thing. In fact, the evidence suggests it’s terrible for your health, mental well-being and overall risk. Giving up the daily drive for public transit, walking or biking is actually good for your health, well-being, and decreases your risks.