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Your Commute Is Making You Fat (and Killing You)


Have a long commute? You’re more likely to gain weight and die early than your teleworking counterparts. A Swedish social geographer found that those who travel more than 31 miles to work are more likely to die young. For reference, the average commute distance in the US is 25 miles each way. That’s not good. Pacific Standard reports:

[Social geographer Erika] Sandow, with Sweden’s Umeå University, outlined her as-yet-unpublished work during the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers.

Sandow noted existing studies that showed how commuting was linked to higher blood pressure, added stress, taking more sick leave, gaining more weight, a higher incidence of heart disease, and more.

The average American spends 50.8 minutes travelling to and from work every day. That time could be better spent exercising, working, making and enjoying a healthy meal or—for the indulgent—sleeping in.

The costs of commuting are quickly adding up. In 2011, Sandow found that long-distance commuters were 40 percent more likely to divorce or separate from their partners. So, to recap: your commute will drive you crazy, give children asthma and cancer, ruin your marriage, and drive you to an early grave.

If only there were some way around this burdensome part of daily life…

[Scale image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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