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Can commuting by car or public transit negatively impact your health?

For many Americans, getting to and from work requires lengthy car, train or bus trips. Now new research (.pdf) out of Europe suggests people's daily commute could be negatively influencing their health. ABC News reports:

Swedish researchers surveyed 21,000 workers aged 18 to 65, and those who commuted by car or public transit reported more everyday stress, exhaustion, missed work days and generally poorer health compared to the active commuters [who walk or cycle], according to the study published Oct. 30 in BMC Public Health.

"More research needs to be done to identify how exactly commuting is related to the ill health we observed in order to readdress the balance between economic needs, health, and the costs of working days lost," study author Erik Hansson from the Lund University in Sweden said in a statement.

Previous studies have linked long-distance commutes (45 minutes or greater) to marital problems and shown that longer commutes boost stress levels for workers. Additionally, findings published in August indicate the mental toll of commuting is greater on women than men.

Previously: Health benefits of bike commuting outweigh the risks, How work stress affects wellness, health-care costs, No surprise here: Anger and stress are bad for your health, Robert Sapolsky on stress and your health and The hazards of sitting in traffic
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