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Is the Commute Making You Sick?

Commutes can be hard on your body, is yours have a negative impact?

The average commute for Americans is 26 minutes to and from work each day, adding up to 200 hours per year. For some, a commute can be over an hour each direction in highly populated cities such as New York.

Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, train, or subway, research has found that stressful commutes are associated with a wide range of health problems that impact us physically and mentally:commute making you sick

  • Increased blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar from traveling and long days.  Solution: Ask your boss to work from home at lease one day a week, or consider working four longer days, with a three-day weekend.
  • Weight gain due to increased snacking, eating on the go, and more time spent sitting down.  Solution: Get up from your desk every hour, stretch, and move around. Take healthy snacks to work, and take a walk on your lunch hour.
  • Higher risk of anxiety and depression and a lack of sleep due to elevated stress levels.  Solution: Ensure you get sufficient breaks, and adequate rest (at least 8 hours of sleep per night), and try to lift your mood by exercising regularly.
  • Increase in colds and viruses from traveling in close proximity to other people on trains, buses, and subways.  Solution: Keep sanitizing wipes in your pocket and be sure to wash your hands regularly. Drink lots of water, which can help detoxify the body.
  • More aches and pains, especially in the back and neck areas.  Solution: Try stretches designed specifically for desk jobs. There is a handy website with videos like “best stretches for office workers.”

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