Commuting towards wellbeing

Longer commute journey times reduce job and leisure time satisfaction, increase strain and have a negative impact on our mental health, according to a study from UWE Bristol.

The research, released this year, points out that longer commutes taken on by people seeking higher wages are less likely to impact negatively on their wellbeing as people are compensated by their pay and other benefits. Journeys which are unnecessarily long, however, because of delays, congestion and poor services, were found to have a negative impact on people’s overall wellbeing.

Bus commuters were among those most affected, emphasising the need for bus priority measures to speed up journeys and reduce congestion.

Dawn Badminton-Capps, Director of Bus Users England said: “Mental health, pollution and congestion are among the most pressing social issues we face and are inextricably linked. One obvious solution is the bus - with the right level of investment and the political will, buses can reduce social isolation, lower congestion and pollution, and improve our town and city centres for everyone.”

The study calls on employers to look at ways to reduce commute times for their workers in order to improve employee wellbeing and staff retention rates.

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