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Telecommuting Could Save Your Marriage


We’ve already seen commuting linked to mental illness and obesity. Now Erika Sandow of Sweden’s Umeå University, the social geographer who noted the obesity-commute link back in March, has outlined yet another reason to avoid the trip into the office altogether: commuting breaks up couples. The Atlantic reports:

Sandow reached her conclusions by analyzing a unique dataset that tracked millions of Swedes across ten years, from 1995 to 2005. First she separated out all the people who were either married or cohabitating, then she split that group two ways: people who commuted one-way more than 45 minutes, and people who did not. […]

On average, then, long-distance commute couples had a 40 percent higher risk of separating than did couples whose trip to work was relatively short.

Also worth noting was the gender gap in the effect of commuting on relationships:

Some couples had a better chance of making it when the woman was the partner who [was] commuting a long way. Compared with women who commuted a short way, women who commuted a long way for more than five years had an 8 percent reduction in odds of being separated. In simpler terms, couples handle the stress of long commutes better when it’s the woman who bears most of the commuting burden.

The average American spends nearly an hour commuting to and from work every day. The costs of that journey are adding up. Telework can cut out the commute, and maybe save a few marriages in the process.

[Telecommuting image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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