Walking, cycling or using public transport better than driving

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Researchers state that walking to work improves brain power and reduces stress levels.

It has been found that adults who started cycling or walking, rather than driving, found it easier to concentrate and became calmer. A study involving 18000 Brits found that making use of the bus or train also improved overall well-being, compared with driving.

The lead researcher from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, Adam Martin, said regardless of the disruption and crowds, walking to stations and bus stops and being able to relax during their journey cheered people up.

The study determined that 3% cycle to work, 11% walk, 18% use public transport and 68% drive to work.

However, it was found that the inability to concentrate and stress levels increased if more time was spent in the car.

Research done earlier during this year found that commuters indicated small, but statistically significant lower scores on all factors of well-being. The worst were seen in those who travelled for periods between 61 and 90 minutes. However, once the commuting time reaches three hours or longer, the negative effects seemed to disappear.

The report stated that the impact of commuting on personal well-being was highest for happiness and anxiety. This suggests that it affects the normal emotions of people more than general evaluations of life satisfaction.

According to Daniel Newman, from the University of Cardiff’s Sustainable Places Research Institute, the research indicates that many of those who spend their mornings and evenings stuck in traffic jams or packed into a rail carriage know that commuting is a chore.

Image Credit: [Duncan]

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