The average UK commuter adds almost 800 calories to their diet every week as a result of their journey to and from work, according to research carried out by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) in a new report, ‘Health in a Hurry’.
The report shows that the average time spent commuting in the UK has increased in recent years to almost an hour a day, and says that these longer commutes come with increased stress and higher blood pressure while reducing time available for health-promoting activities such as cooking, exercising and sleeping.
Commuters in London have an average journey of 79 minutes while it is just under 45 minutes for people living in Wales. Unless you use the A483, obvs.
Of the more than 1,500 commuters questioned:
Instead, many found that commuting makes them want to snack more, either out of boredom or because they have a particularly stressful journey.
Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH, said: “For some of us the daily commute can be a pleasurable experience, giving time for reflection or an opportunity to relax; but for an increasing number of us it is having a damaging effect on our health and wellbeing. As the length of our commute increases this impact is getting worse, including by contributing to rising levels of stress, adding to our waistlines, or eating into time we could otherwise spend doing activities which enhance our health and wellbeing such as sleep, exercise or time spent with friends or family.
The roadworks on the A483 in the coming weeks won’t do anything to help; stress at the wheel is a major problem for many drivers. A survey of UK drivers by Brake (the road safety charity) and Direct Line found that 71% had lost concentration at the wheel in the past year due to stress or annoyance, so if you find yourself getting wound up by that numpty in front of you who has just barged into the queue…