Reduce Travel Time to Work to Live a Happy Life

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 06, 2014

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Reduce Office Commuting HoursA latest study from University of Waterloo found that the more time you spend commuting to and from work the more likely you are to be unsatisfied with your life. The reason behind this is the stress and related problems that make you feel discontented with life.

A professor in applied health sciences and associate director of researcher for the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, Margo Hilbrecht said "we found that the longer it takes someone to get to work, the lower their satisfaction with life in general".

Previously it was believed that long commuting hours had some benefits like giving some time to unwind and transition from workday. However, the new study claims that the opposite is true in most cases.
Hilbrecht said "the message to employers is that encouraging flexible work hours or providing time for physical leisure can pay dividends in their employees' satisfaction with life".

The data from Statistics Canada were analyzed by the researchers to understand the links between commute time and happy living.

It was found by the researchers that besides being linked with lower life satisfaction, long commuting hours are also related to an increased sense of time pressure.
Hilbrecht said "some people may enjoy a commute but overall, longer travel time is linked to feelings of time crunch which can increase stress levels".

The authors said "we learned that commuters who had time for physical leisure had higher life satisfaction. Physical activity can mitigate commuting-related stress if workers can include it in their daily routines, but the obvious constraint is time scarcity".

There were other factors like flexible work hours and a higher household income that were related to the higher life satisfaction among commuters, told the authors.

The study was published in the World Leisure Journal.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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