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Rush Hour! Effects Of Long Commutes

Is travelling taking up too much of your daily time? Does lengthy travel time eventually prove harmful? Yes! It does. Here’s a lowdown.

Who doesn’t like road trips? But when you have to do them daily, you would eventually face the repercussions. Commuting is a part of life for millions of people around the world. Laborious daily travel, in particular, is a common reality for many people who live in urban areas or work in congested city centres.

While commuting may seem like a necessary inconvenience, it can have a significant impact on your daily health. Let’s learn about ways in which long commutes can affect your physical and mental health.

Physical Health

Here is how these can prove to be detrimental to your physical well-being:

1. Increased Risk of Obesity

One of the most significant impacts of prolonged daily journeys on your physical health is the increased risk of obesity. Sitting for long periods of time in a car or on public transportation can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle and may even increase your chances of developing blood clots.

Prolonged sitting can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can introduce you to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

2. Back Pain

Sitting for long periods of time can also lead to back pain. The lack of movement and support can cause muscle tension and stiffness, which can result in pain and discomfort.

Sitting in an uncomfortable position or in a vehicle with poor suspension can exacerbate back pain.

3. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

An arduous daily commute can also increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Spending long hours sitting in a car or in public transportation can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and an increased risk of heart disease.

Long commutes may contribute to stress and anxiety, which can further increase your risk of cardiovascular problems.

4. Poor Quality Sleep

Long commutes can also negatively affect your sleep quality. People who travel more tend to have less sleep and a lower quality of sleep than those who have shorter journeys to map.

This is likely due to the stress and anxiety, as well as the disruption to your natural sleep routine.

Mental Health

Long-distance travelling doesn’t just take a toll on your physical health; it’s also noxious for your mental health.

1. Increased Stress and Anxiety

Time-consuming commutes can be a significant source of stress and anxiety. Spending hours in traffic or on public transportation can be frustrating, and the lack of control over your commute can leave you feeling helpless.

Additionally, they can contribute to work-related stress and can leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

2. Decreased Job Satisfaction

Excessive travelling distance can also contribute to decreased job satisfaction. Spending hours on the go can leave you with less time for other activities, including spending time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, or simply relaxing. This can lead to feelings of burnout and dissatisfaction with your job.

3. Impaired Cognitive Function

Tedious travel can impair your cognitive function. Spending hours in traffic or in public transportation can be mentally exhausting and can leave you feeling drained and unfocused. This can negatively affect your performance at work, as well as your ability to engage in activities outside of work.

4. Poor Mental Health

Finally, long commutes can contribute to poor mental health. Stress, anxiety, and exhaustion can lead to mental health problems. Additionally, the lack of time for self-care and leisure activities can leave you feeling unfulfilled and discontented with your life.

While some commutes may be unavoidable, there are steps you can take to mitigate the negative effects of a long commute.

  • Consider alternative modes of transportation: If possible, consider alternatives to driving or taking public transportation, such as biking, walking, or carpooling. This can help you incorporate physical activity into your daily routine and reduce your exposure to traffic-related stressors.

  • Use the time to your advantage: Try to use the time to your advantage. You can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or music to help you relax or learn something new.

  • Prioritize self-care: You can be left feeling tired and stressed, so it's important to prioritize self-care. This can include getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and engaging in physical activity or relaxation techniques.

  • Create a positive mindset: Try to focus on the positive aspects of your travel, such as the opportunity to decompress or engage in enjoyable activities. You can also use affirmations or visualization techniques to create a positive mindset and reduce stress.

  • Consider changing your work schedule: If possible, consider changing your work schedule to avoid rush hour traffic.

  • Manage work-related stress: This can include taking breaks during the workday, setting realistic goals, and seeking support from coworkers or a mental health professional if necessary.

All the long commutes and the sedentary lifestyle can quickly take a toll on your health. Choose a Health Plan that takes care of your health! Kenko’s Individual Plan gives you 50% off on medicines, doctor consults, lab tests, daily healthcare and much more.

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