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Long Commutes are Bad for Your Health
May 15, 2012 – People with longer commutes tend to be less active and are at an increased risk of chronic disease, according to a new study from Washington University [Time.com].
The study looked at the commutes and health habits of 4,300 people living in the metropolitan areas of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin, Texas. Researchers found that 76 percent of people who worked within five miles of their home averaged at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily. On the other hand, the study found that people who commute 30 miles or longer were less likely to exercise and more likely to be obese, have larger waistlines, and have an increased risk for high blood pressure.
“For many people, the majority of their life is spent sitting behind a wheel, a desk, or a table, and it’s causing major health problems,” says Anthony Slater, performance director at Core Performance. While you may not be able to reroute your commute, you can reduce the amount of time you spend sitting each day. Slater says this can be as simple as taking a walk at a lunch, leaving your desk more often, and engaging in walking meetings. All of these extra steps make an impact and help reduce the risk for chronic illnesses.