Your commute is killing you

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Everybody already knows that sitting at your desk all day is terrible for your health. But now it looks like the same thing is true for driving to and from work. A new study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine looked at more than 4,000 adults in Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, and indexed their health against their commute times.

Top image: Driving Zombie by Sushi the Great on Flickr.

And the results are pretty dismal. People who spent longer in the car shuttling themselves to and from work every day had worse cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), BMIs, waist circumference, and blood pressure. A 10-mile commute was associated with a blood pressure spike, and those who travelled 15 miles didn't get enough exercise, and were more likely to be overweight.


There's a twofold cause here. Part of it's obvious, it's just more time spent sedentary, burning very few calories. The other side is slightly more insidious: commuting eats into the time people would usually spend exercising. It's those precious few hours before and after work when most adults actually get out and burn a few calories, and if that's taken up by sitting in your car in traffic, you're much less likely to go for a jog or play some sports.

So not only is your job killing you, so is your commute.