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Study Shows That Your Daily Commute Can Make You Unhappy

Study Shows That Your Daily Commute Can Make You Unhappy


How long does it take you to reach your workplace? And how much does that commute time affect your happiness levels?

Surprisingly, this daily activity can have a major impact on your joyfulness quotient.

Many of us who work in an office commute twice a day at least five days a week. The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In traffic-heavy cities and areas, it takes even longer to reach your workplace. New Yorkers, for instance, spend nearly two hours going to and from work every week day.

Over time, this distance and extra hours begin to make us less and less happy. This is not just conjecture—two  Swiss economists who studied this have found a strong link between commute time and happiness levels.

Alois Stutzer and Bruno S. Frey concluded that people who buy a big house in the suburbs, thinking they will be happier living in a larger space, grew gradually unhappier because of the daily long drive to and from work. They simply did not factor in the pain of a long commute.

So, if you have lately been feeling down in the dumps and don’t exactly know what the reason is, take another look at your location, and how it might be affecting your happiness.

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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Leesa A. Wheeler

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