Is Commuting Killing You?

A new Gallup study suggests that long commutes are bad for your well-being. I don’t find that surprising.

What’s disappointing about the study is that it doesn’t take mode into account. I don’t think I’m going very far out on a limb to claim that long car commutes can drive you crazy — like what happened to William Foster, who leaves his car and goes on a rampage through Los Angeles in the 1993 film Falling Down. I wonder if the spread of misery by commute time would have been wider if the study had been confined to cars. I wonder if people with 25-minute bicycle commutes have a greater sense of well-being that people with 25-minute car commutes 🙂

You’ll find all kinds of good information about the nexus of housing and commuting at the Urban Land Institute. These are the two biggest expenses most of us have, which means these may also be the two biggest headaches.

So let’s see: Combine these expenses/headaches with long commutes in cars and what do you get?


It’s a killer.

So, yes, commuting is killing you if you’re doing it for a long time in a car.

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Comments 2

  1. Jim wrote:

    I have a 25-30 minute bike commute. It is one of my most treasured times of the day. I look forward to it and don’t feel right when I miss it. I never felt that about my car and don’t know a single driver who relishes their commute like I do. If it is bad for my well being I can’t really say that I care!

    Posted 23 Aug 2010 at 11:35 am
  2. Steve A wrote:

    Yeah, a long bicycle commute can wear you down. Still, I think I’ll miss it and look back on it with pride…

    Posted 23 Aug 2010 at 5:52 pm