Nobody likes being stuck in traffic. It often makes us frustrated, stressed out, late for work, wastes gas and is hard on your car. Those of us with longer commutes typically suffer these side effects even more. But did you know that these frustrating drives are actually bad for your physical health as well?
A study out of Washington University has recently confirmed a link between spending more time in your car and significant weight gain when compared to those who are able to walk or ride their bike to work. While it is unclear as to the exact tie, most data points to those with longer commutes simply not burning as many calories by sitting for longer.
Previous studies have also linked extended periods of time sitting with increased risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and early death. Long commutes have also been linked with higher blood pressure due to the stresses of traffic. With all of these discerning side effects of longer commutes combined, it is quite motivating to try and limit our commute times. For those of us that don’t have a choice in the matter, doctors encourage you to try and find small pockets of time throughout the day to increase your physical activity. Companies are also encouraged to allow and even promote physical activity breaks during work hours.
So next time you get behind the wheel for that long drive to work, try to start thinking of ways to incorporate more physical activity into your day, no matter how small. It’s more important than ever!