Long Commutes Can Make You Gain Weight [New Report]
Till now, you may have thought of getting from home to the office as a part of exercise which will benefit your health – or help you lose weight. But the truth is just the opposite of what you have been thinking.
Yes, long commute can damage your health and make you gain weight!
About the Report
According to a new report published by the Royal Society for Public Health, long commute can have a bad effect on your health.
After analyzing the commuting habits of 24 million people in England and Wales, researchers discovered that most the office-goers had passive commutes, which means those people traveled either by a train or a bus.
Though it took the workers around one hour to reach the office, the commute time was spent sitting in a train or a bus – as opposed to walking or cycling. Such long commutes affect health badly.
For many people, commuting on an everyday basis is an excellent opportunity to get into a state of relaxation. But it's not a pleasurable experience for most of the people who travel from home to office daily. In fact, long commutes are damaging workers' health in multiple ways.
Commuting: Active vs Passive
There are two types of commutes – active and passive. Active commutes, which include walking, running and cycling, are good for the body and the mind. If you walk or cycle up to your office on a daily basis, you'll notice a positive change in your mood.
Not just that, this type of daily exercise reduces the risk of developing heart diseases. And it obviously helps you lose weight.
But when you travel by train or a bus to office, it's passive (non-active) commute, which is harmful for health. How do you feel when you travel in a bus that's over-crowded? Or when you are late to office?
Long commutes can easily lead to anxiety or frustration. When you travel for a longer time daily in an uncomfortable position, it damages your health rather than improving it.
How Long Commutes Make You Gain Weight
Long commutes don't just have a damaging effect on your health, but they can also prove to be the reason for putting on more weight. 38% of people polled admitted that they were unable to prepare healthy meals at home due to their longer travel time from home to office.
Plus, one out of every four commuters said that fell into the habit of buying unhealthy food items available at the transportation centers. Due to their long commutes, the workers were taking in around 767 additional calories on an average per week.
And it's a no-brainer that sitting in a train or a bus is no exercise at all. Non-active commutes result in reduced physical activity, which, in turn, makes you gain more weight over a period.
What to Do
If your office is located far away, walking or cycling isn't feasible. So, how do you ward off the damaging effects of a long commute?
According to experts, you should follow a couple of strategies to make your long, frustrating journeys a little healthier. If you take a bus or a train, you should stand rather than sitting.
Another smart strategy is to leave the bus or the train one or two stops earlier and walk the remaining distance. If you travel in your own car, try parking it a little distance away from the office parking lot, and then walk up to the office.