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Direckshun
05-31-2012, 09:25 AM
Long commutes suck balls, but this is particularly fascinating.

http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(12)00167-5/abstract

Your Commute Is Killing You
Long commutes cause obesity, neck pain, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia.
By Annie Lowrey
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011, at 5:57 PM ET

This week, researchers at Umea University in Sweden released a startling finding: Couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40 percent likelier to divorce. The Swedes could not say why. Perhaps long-distance commuters tend to be poorer or less educated, both conditions that make divorce more common. Perhaps long transit times exacerbate corrosive marital inequalities, with one partner overburdened by child care and the other overburdened by work. But perhaps the Swedes are just telling us something we all already know, which is that commuting is bad for you. Awful, in fact.

Commuting is a migraine-inducing life-suck—a mundane task about as pleasurable as assembling flat-pack furniture or getting your license renewed, and you have to do it every day. If you are commuting, you are not spending quality time with your loved ones. You are not exercising, doing challenging work, having sex, petting your dog, or playing with your kids (or your Wii). You are not doing any of the things that make human beings happy. Instead, you are getting nauseous on a bus, jostled on a train, or cut off in traffic.

In the past decade or so, researchers have produced a significant body of research measuring the dreadfulness of a long commute. People with long transit times suffer from disproportionate pain, stress, obesity, and dissatisfaction. The joy of living in a big, exurban house, or that extra income left over from your cheap rent? It is almost certainly not worth it.

First, the research proves the most obvious point: We dislike commuting itself, finding it unpleasant and stressful. In 2006, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Alan Krueger surveyed 900 Texan women, asking them how much they enjoyed a number of common activities. Having sex came in first. Socializing after work came second. Commuting came in dead last. "Commuting in the morning appears particularly unpleasant," the researchers noted.

That unpleasantness seems to have a spillover effect: making us less happy in general. A survey conducted last year for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, for instance,found that 40 percent of employees who spend more than 90 minutes getting home from work "experienced worry for much of the previous day." That number falls to 28 percent for those with "negligible" commutes of 10 minutes or less. Workers with very long commutes feel less rested and experience less "enjoyment," as well.

Long commutes also make us feel lonely. Robert Putnam, the famed Harvard political scientist and author of Bowling Alone, names long commuting times as one of the most robust predictors of social isolation. He posits that every 10 minutes spent commuting results in 10 percent fewer "social connections." Those social connections tend to make us feel happy and fulfilled.

Those stressful hours spent listening to drive-time radio do not merely make us less happy. They also make us less healthy. The Gallup survey, for instance, found that one in three workers with a 90-minute daily commute has recurrent neck or back problems. Our behaviors change as well, conspiring to make us less fit: When we spend more time commuting, we spend less time exercising and fixing ourselves meals at home.

According to research from Thomas James Christian of Brown University, each minute you commute is associated with "a 0.0257 minute exercise time reduction, a 0.0387 minute food preparation time reduction, and a 0.2205 minute sleep time reduction." It does not sound like much, but it adds up. Long commutes also tend to increase the chance that a worker will make "non-grocery food purchases"—buying things like fast food—and will shift into "lower-intensity" exercise.

It is commuting, not the total length of the workday, that matters, he found. Take a worker with a negligible commute and a 12-hour workday and a worker with an hourlong commute and a 10-hour workday. The former will have healthier habits than the latter, even though total time spent on the relatively stressful, unpleasant tasks is equal.

Plus, overall, people with long commutes are fatter, and national increases in commuting time are posited as one contributor to the obesity epidemic. Researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles, and Cal State–Long Beach, for instance, looked at the relationship between obesity and a number of lifestyle factors, such as physical activity. Vehicle-miles traveled had a stronger correlation with obesity than any other factor.

Direckshun
05-31-2012, 09:26 AM
continued....

So, in summary: We hate commuting. It correlates with an increased risk of obesity, divorce, neck pain, stress, worry, and sleeplessness. It makes us eat worse and exercise less. Yet, we keep on doing it.

Indeed, average one-way commuting time has steadily crept up over the course of the past five decades, and now sits at 24 minutes (although we routinely under-report the time it really takes us to get to work). About one in six workers commutes for more than 45 minutes, each way. And about 3.5 million Americans commute a whopping 90 minutes each way—the so-called "extreme commuters," whose number has doubled since 1990, according to the Census Bureau. They collectively spend 164 billion minutes per year shuttling to and from work.

Why do people suffer through it? The answer mostly lies in a phrase forced on us by real-estate agents: "Drive until you qualify." Many of us work in towns or cities where houses are expensive. The further we move from work, the more house we can afford. Given the choice between a cramped two-bedroom apartment 10 minutes from work and a spacious four-bedroom house 45 minutes from it, we often elect the latter.

For decades, economists have been warning us that when we buy at a distance, we do not tend to take the cost of our own time into account. All the way back in 1965, for instance, the economist John Kain wrote, it is "crucial that, in making longer journeys to work, households incur larger costs in both time and money. Since time is a scarce commodity, workers should demand some compensation for the time they spend in commuting." But we tend not to, only taking the tradeoff between housing costs and transportation costs into question.

How much would we need to be compensated to make up for the hellish experience of a long commute? Two economists at the University of Zurich, Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer, actually went about quantifying it, in a now famous 2004 paper entitled "Stress That Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox." They found that for an extra hour of commuting time, you would need to be compensated with a massive 40 percent increase in salary to make it worthwhile.

But wait: Isn't the big house and the time to listen to the whole Dylan catalog worth something as well? Sure, researchers say, but not enough when it comes to the elusive metric of happiness. Given the choice between that cramped apartment and the big house, we focus on the tangible gains offered by the latter. We can see that extra bedroom. We want that extra bathtub. But we do not often use them. And we forget that additional time in the car is a constant, persistent, daily burden—if a relatively invisible one.

Do not take it lightly. People who say, "My commute is killing me!" are not exaggerators. They are realists.

Direckshun
05-31-2012, 09:27 AM
The results of the study this story was based on (http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(12)00167-5/abstract):

Commuting distance was negatively associated with physical activity and CRF and positively associated with BMI, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and continuous metabolic score in fully adjusted linear regression models. Logistic regression analyses yielded similar associations; however, of the models with metabolic risk indicators as outcomes, only the associations with elevated blood pressure remained significant after adjustment for physical activity and CRF.

Frazod
05-31-2012, 09:30 AM
Commuting sucks, but not nearly as bad as living in fucking Chicago.

Douche Baggins
05-31-2012, 09:31 AM
Walking to work FTW

DaKCMan AP
05-31-2012, 09:31 AM
My commute is 3 miles/10 mins.

Donger
05-31-2012, 09:31 AM
I don't have a commute. So, I'm not dying.

Frosty
05-31-2012, 09:37 AM
Thirteen miles of rural driving. I doubt it will kill me unless I hit a moose or logging truck.

Frazod
05-31-2012, 09:41 AM
And my commute isn't really that bad. I live a mile from the local train station. The train ride is long, but it's relative quick (about 40 minutes) and the cars are clean and comfortable. From there, I can either take a bus to work or walk. Door-to-door is about an hour-and-a-half, but it's not like I'm fretting over it. I tend to nap in the morning and read a book at night.

OTOH, if I drove those 35 miles every day? I'd already have died of a fucking heart attack. On those rare days when, for whatever reason, I have to drive to Chicago in rush hour traffic, it can take anywhere from an hour to two hours (or longer if there is bad weather or accidents), and that drive is a rage inducing torrent of suck. The worst day was when I got stuck driving home on Thanksgiving Wednesday, and a bad snow storm hit in the early afternoon, thereby causing the salt trucks and plows to get stuck in building traffic. Left the office at 4:00 - got home at 7:30. I wanted to murder the fucking world.

Frosty
05-31-2012, 09:45 AM
If I lived or worked in a city, I would commute by mass transit. I hate to drive, especially in heavy traffic.

Cave Johnson
05-31-2012, 09:49 AM
But it's totally worth it to get a bigger house in the suburbs/exurbs, guys!!

Frazod
05-31-2012, 09:49 AM
If I lived or worked in a city, I would commute by mass transit. I hate to drive, especially in heavy traffic.

Yep. I would also add that I love where I live now. Naperville is wonderful. I wake up in the morning and look out over a golf course. I see grass and trees. When I lived in Chicago, the view out my window was a gang-graffiti covered garage across a trash-strewn alley. If a long commute is the price I pay for that, so be it.

gblowfish
05-31-2012, 09:55 AM
I do 75 miles round trip daily. Suck o rama.

Graystoke
05-31-2012, 09:59 AM
My commute is the only time I get to smoke cigs, drink coffee and snort cocaine...wtf?

DaKCMan AP
05-31-2012, 10:11 AM
I wake up in the morning and look out over a golf course. I see grass and trees.

For what? 2 months out of the year? :D

Frazod
05-31-2012, 10:12 AM
I read about a guy who commuted from the Quad Cities (Iowa/Illinois border on the Mississippi) to Chicago every day. With traffic, that's at least 3 hours each way, assuming nothing goes wrong, and an approximate 250 mile round trip, a good third of that hard stop-and-go traffic. IIRC the stupid fuck had to leave the house at 5:00 a.m. and didn't get home until after 8:00 p.m. Every. Single. Day. Unimaginable.

Frazod
05-31-2012, 10:13 AM
For what? 2 months out of the year? :D

It's not that bad, Beach Boy. nlm

And even snow covered grass and barren trees is better than the garage and the alley.

blaise
05-31-2012, 10:15 AM
If you live near a big city you usually have to move pretty far out if you don't want your kids going to some crime infested dump of a school.

Chiefs Pantalones
05-31-2012, 10:15 AM
My commute is 7 minutes driving. The pain I endure...

Dr. Facebook Fever
05-31-2012, 10:16 AM
Live a mile from work and drive there when hardly anyone else is on the road yet. I may live forever.

noa
05-31-2012, 10:16 AM
I have a 30 minute subway ride to work. In the morning, my wife joins me, so that makes it nice, and in the evening, I just read something. I actually find it pretty relaxing to have that buffer between work and arriving home, but I would be more stressed and upset if I had to drive every day.
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donkhater
05-31-2012, 10:17 AM
My commute is 3 miles/10 mins.

Yep, me too. My company recently has built a new addition to our faciliites that forced our parking lot to move a little further away from our offices (still on the same grounds). I joked to my wife that my commute to work just doubled.

phisherman
05-31-2012, 10:25 AM
I'm in a similar situation.

5 miles, takes me about 8-10 minutes. It's a nice, relaxed drive through town.

pr_capone
05-31-2012, 11:42 AM
Walking to work FTW

It isn't difficult to walk to work when the only distance you have to cover is from your living room to your desk chair in the adjoining room.

Douche Baggins
05-31-2012, 11:44 AM
It isn't difficult to walk to work when the only distance you have to cover is from your living room to your desk chair in the adjoining room.

:hail: :hail: :hail:

Stewie
05-31-2012, 11:52 AM
I have about a 10 minute commute and it's an easy drive.

There is a married couple that commutes from Savannah, MO (our company is in Lenexa) which is about 80 miles each way. We also have people that live in Smithville, Kearney and Oak Grove. These are people that have worked for us for several years. I can't imagine commuting those distances 5-6 days per week, year after year.

Sofa King
05-31-2012, 12:35 PM
About 7 blocks, takes me 2 minutes. would be a lot less time if there wasn't 5 stop signs in between..

the Talking Can
05-31-2012, 12:43 PM
i walk to work, and it is a significant factor in my job satisfaction and general well being...

Frazod
05-31-2012, 12:48 PM
I have about a 10 minute commute and it's an easy drive.

There is a married couple that commutes from Savannah, MO (our company is in Lenexa) which is about 80 miles each way. We also have people that live in Smithville, Kearney and Oak Grove. These are people that have worked for us for several years. I can't imagine commuting those distances 5-6 days per week, year after year.

I have a friend who lives about 12 miles south of Jeff City that commutes to Columbia every day. Probably about 40 miles each way. He claims that he doesn't mind it. Except back in '93 when the flood washed out a massive section of US 63 and he (and everybody else) had to drive down to the nearest open bridge across the Missouri, which added about 90 miles and over 2 hours each way to his trip for a couple of months until the flood waters receded and the road was rebuilt.

He minded that. :D

mr. tegu
05-31-2012, 12:54 PM
If you live near a big city you usually have to move pretty far out if you don't want your kids going to some crime infested dump of a school.

In really big cities yeah, but a city like KC it is not bad. On either side of the city, whether Kansas or Missouri you just drive about 10 minutes to be in the suburbs and another 10-15 to be in the newer ones.

mr. tegu
05-31-2012, 12:58 PM
I have about a 10 minute commute and it's an easy drive.

There is a married couple that commutes from Savannah, MO (our company is in Lenexa) which is about 80 miles each way. We also have people that live in Smithville, Kearney and Oak Grove. These are people that have worked for us for several years. I can't imagine commuting those distances 5-6 days per week, year after year.

Kind of makes you wonder what is the point of living in those types of areas. Yeah you aren't really in the city but you spend a lot more time there between driving and working than you do at home. Also I know I am not the only one that holds my #2's until I get home so I can use my home bathroom. 80 miles is a long ways to hold that! :eek:

Pablo
05-31-2012, 01:00 PM
30 mins and three stoplights. Not too bad.

BigRichard
05-31-2012, 01:17 PM
I just accepted a job that will make my commute from 30 min on a good day and 40 on a bad one to about 5 min.

whoman69
05-31-2012, 01:17 PM
Today was horrid. I live on the edge of a suburb next to the metropolis. It took me 15 minutes to get to the metropolis when I could literally walk there in less time. I had to turn around because of construction, then ran into 5 more construction zones on the main route which just had a major project which took two years to complete. Was even late for work because of the extra time to get through construction.

mr. tegu
05-31-2012, 01:30 PM
This thread has inspired me to continue work on my teleportation device :D

sedated
05-31-2012, 01:58 PM
I recently doubled my commute (from 15/30 to 30/45), and have felt the effects of everything listed. I used to cook my own dinner pretty much every night, now its so tempting to pick something up. I also don’t workout as much, but I thought that was just because the added drive gave me more time to think of everything else I could do with that 45 minutes I would normally be at the gym.

Aries Walker
05-31-2012, 02:05 PM
Now, I have about ten minutes each way, but I had a 90-minute-each-way commute for about five years there. It was not fun.

Direckshun
05-31-2012, 02:07 PM
About 7 blocks, takes me 2 minutes. would be a lot less time if there wasn't 5 stop signs in between..

Why the hell do you drive to work?

I'd bike or walk if I had the option to.

DaFace
05-31-2012, 02:22 PM
It'd be interesting to know how the issues impact people like me who are mentally engaged while commuting. It's odd, but I almost miss my daily reading time on the bus when I work from home.

Detoxing
05-31-2012, 02:33 PM
If I lived or worked in a city, I would commute by mass transit. I hate to drive, especially in heavy traffic.

I assure you, if you lived/worked in the city you would NOT want to take public transportation.

Frazod
05-31-2012, 02:40 PM
I assure you, if you lived/worked in the city you would NOT want to take public transportation.

???

When I lived in Chicago, I took the L. It sucked, but not as much as driving.

Donger
05-31-2012, 02:44 PM
I feel sorry for the people who have to drive to work every day, especially when I look outside and there's a foot of snow on the ground. Well, maybe not sad but more, "Nanananabooboo! Suckers!"

the Talking Can
05-31-2012, 02:46 PM
I assure you, if you lived/worked in the city you would NOT want to take public transportation.

?

that would be news to everyone living in cities and taking mass transit...

Detoxing
05-31-2012, 02:49 PM
???

When I lived in Chicago, I took the L. It sucked, but not as much as driving.

To each their own i guess. I'd MUCH rather drive then deal with stinky, uncomfortable public vehicles that are often tagged on. Late/early Bus drivers, broken down buses, waiting the extra 5 minutes so the old dude in the wheelchair can board and get strapped in, then another 5 minutes for him to get off, which then causes you to miss your next bus/trolley

Or the downed power lines that kill the Trolleys. Or when a freaking tree falls over during a storm, blocks the tracks and delays your commute for 2+ hours (been there, done that)

And the people?!?! OH EM GEE

How about the smelly alcoholics? ****ed up drug abusers, annoying loud mouth teens, stank ass homeless people trying to bum change off ya? Even the gang activity. I once had a group of black people try to jack me as i was getting off the trolley. Some bitch reached into my pockets as i was walking down the isle, i told the bitch, "WTF, you doing??" Next thing you know ima bout to get jumped.

I had a friend get robbed for his shoes on the trolley.

Yeah.....

**** public transportation.

I'd much rather drive in my car than to deal with all that shit again.

Detoxing
05-31-2012, 02:52 PM
I have SOOO many stories about public transportation....NO THANK YOU

Frosty
05-31-2012, 02:57 PM
I have SOOO many stories about public transportation....NO THANK YOU

The thing to remember, though, is that the West Coast sucks at mass transit. You go back east, it is much nicer (and safer). Every West Coast city that I've been in seems to be a big game of "you can't get there from here".

tooge
05-31-2012, 03:02 PM
15 minutes of no traffic driving. I enjoy it. Time to drink coffee, listed to morning radio.

Frazod
05-31-2012, 03:40 PM
To each their own i guess. I'd MUCH rather drive then deal with stinky, uncomfortable public vehicles that are often tagged on. Late/early Bus drivers, broken down buses, waiting the extra 5 minutes so the old dude in the wheelchair can board and get strapped in, then another 5 minutes for him to get off, which then causes you to miss your next bus/trolley

Or the downed power lines that kill the Trolleys. Or when a freaking tree falls over during a storm, blocks the tracks and delays your commute for 2+ hours (been there, done that)

And the people?!?! OH EM GEE

How about the smelly alcoholics? ****ed up drug abusers, annoying loud mouth teens, stank ass homeless people trying to bum change off ya? Even the gang activity. I once had a group of black people try to jack me as i was getting off the trolley. Some bitch reached into my pockets as i was walking down the isle, i told the bitch, "WTF, you doing??" Next thing you know ima bout to get jumped.

I had a friend get robbed for his shoes on the trolley.

Yeah.....

**** public transportation.

I'd much rather drive in my car than to deal with all that shit again.

This crap happens, certainly, especially in bad areas. But not so much during rush hour. Sure, you get stuck sitting next to the occasional garlic reeking foreigner, but normally it's just a regular person on their way home same as you.

I lived in Chicago for nearly 10 years, sometimes in some pretty fucked up neighborhoods, and I never had a problem on the L. And taking the Metra (suburban commuter train) is much better than Chicago public transportation.

Didn't realize San Diego was so ghetto. :D

Detoxing
05-31-2012, 03:58 PM
Didn't realize San Diego was so ghetto. :D

haha, the route i had to take to get back and forth from work ran through:

Poor Mexican community-----> Poor black Community -------> White trash and the elderly community

rad
05-31-2012, 06:15 PM
I just took a job that's 63 miles away. Takes about 70 minutes. Before this, I drove about 26 miles/35-40 minutes for 15 years.

I'm screwed.

Deberg_1990
05-31-2012, 06:31 PM
But it's totally worth it to get a bigger house in the suburbs/exurbs, guys!!

If you have a family yes. I drive 70 miles a day round trip, but I'd rather do than live in the city so that so my kids can live in a nice neighborhood with nice schools.

Deberg_1990
05-31-2012, 06:37 PM
In really big cities yeah, but a city like KC it is not bad. On either side of the city, whether Kansas or Missouri you just drive about 10 minutes to be in the suburbs and another 10-15 to be in the newer ones.

Yea, KC even in rush hour traffic isn't really that bad compared to a lot of cities.

Douche Baggins
05-31-2012, 09:34 PM
I just took a job that's 63 miles away. Takes about 70 minutes. Before this, I drove about 26 miles/35-40 minutes for 15 years.

I'm screwed.

Find a way to car pool.

unlurking
06-01-2012, 02:34 AM
For the last decade I averaged a bit over an hour each way. Just moved to 15 minutes each way plus 2 telework days. The amount of free time is amazing. I keep thinking "OK, now what?"

pr_capone
06-01-2012, 02:46 AM
It takes me 12 minutes to get to work. If I am in the car then it is nice quiet time to focus on what I have to get done that day. If I'm on the bike it becomes more about the exhilaration of the ride and I'm pumped when I get to work. This is the one thing I really like about this shitty town.

HonestChieffan
06-01-2012, 06:24 AM
People who live in gulags have no commute and live forever

Dave Lane
06-01-2012, 07:55 AM
All 36 feet of it?

Fairplay
06-01-2012, 08:07 AM
So how far is your commute Direckshun?

HemiEd
06-01-2012, 09:31 AM
Walking to work FTW

I walk fairly often, or ride my bicycle when I know I am not going to have to leave the office on business that day. The 7/10 mile distance is a real killer. :D

HemiEd
06-01-2012, 09:41 AM
It'd be interesting to know how the issues impact people like me who are mentally engaged while commuting. It's odd, but I almost miss my daily reading time on the bus when I work from home.

My neighbor lady, commuted to downtown Chicago on the train, like Frazod, for over 35 years.

It was about an hour each way, every day, and it was almost a little community/routine on the train.

It became a very important part of her life, and she really missed it when she retired.

I had tried to hire her about ten years ago, and she would have no part of it, that commute was important.

Demonpenz
06-01-2012, 02:49 PM
I drove from St. Joseph to Lenexa everyday for a year. It wasn't too bad. The price of an apartment in Lenexa bought me a 4 story house with a rob calloway boxing ring basement in st joseph.