6 Comments

Summary:

Sky high gas bills, road rage, unpleasant body odors on packed subways: The many downsides of commuting already constitute a solid argument in favor of remote work. But a recent study offers another reason to trade in your train pass: Your commute is killing you.

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Sky high gas bills, uncontrollable road rage, unpleasant body odors on packed trains: The many downsides of commuting are well-documented and already constitute a solid argument in favor of opting to work remotely. But a recent study out of Lund University in Sweden offers another reason to trade your train pass for a home office: Your commute is bad for your health.

The study tracked 21,000 full-time employees in Sweden aged between 18 and 65, comparing their health and asking about their method of commuting and sleep and stress levels, as well as tracking how many days they missed work. The results indicate that taking a car, train or bus to the office is likely to negatively impact your health.

“Generally car and public transport users suffered more everyday stress, poorer sleep quality, exhaustion and, on a seven point scale, felt that they struggled with their health compared to the active commuters,” like cyclists, said Researcher Erik Hansson. The longer the commute, the worse the effects.

ABC News spoke to Dr. Redford Williams, professor of medicine at Duke University about the findings. He argued that while sitting in your car is not an inherently healthy activity, the actual problem with commuting may be as much the lack of control we have over the experience as the hours of inactivity:

We know that people who have a lot of demands and very little control over how they meet those demands are at a higher risk for negative health effects. And when you’re relying on a train to get to work, it’s totally out of your control most of the time.

This is entirely in line with existing science we’ve covered previously on WWD, which shows lack of autonomy is linked to higher stress, which, in turn, correlates with worse health. Flexible and self-directed, new ways of working that are web enabled and location independent, boost autonomy and so should also boost health.

And if you’re still on the fence about approaching your boss about ditching your commute, the grim math about how much your commute is daily journey is costing you might spur your courage and get you into her office.

At Net:Work, we’ll explore the benefits — and challenges — of an increasingly mobile workforce. The event will be held in San Francisco on Dec. 8.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Ben Woosley.

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  1. #virtual events Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you: Sky high gas bills, uncontrollable ro… http://t.co/lPZHxmi8

  2. True Small Business Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/XbQwbIQB #smallbiztech

  3. Small Business Apps Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/3eLIORUt #businessapps

  4. Freelance Mentor Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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  6. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you: Sky high gas bills, uncontrollable road rage, unpleas… http://t.co/qcrLuzut

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  8. Tech Management Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you: Sky high gas bills, uncontrollable road rage, unpleas… http://t.co/IRsbIAwW

  9. Francis Mendoza Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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  11. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/pjKEhExg

  12. RT @BusinessApps: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/3eLIORUt #businessapps

  13. plsburydoughboy Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    RT @likke: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/CpqXOJ8m #webworking

  14. RT @WebWorkerDaily: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/zcUEibR6

  15. yodee van derwoodsen Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    RT @WebWorkerDaily: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/YloOdcFd

  16. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/Cpkw4LmY #webdevfeeds

  17. Fburnr: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you: Sky high gas bills… http://t.co/UOWBdiyX

  18. Andina Dwifatma Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    RT @waraney: RT @WebWorkerDaily: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/5Jrn0jL1

  19. RT @WebWorkerDaily: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/zcUEibR6

  20. RT @curiousmitch: RT @duffbert: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/dL41u1BZ

  21. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/tacZ5iRk

  22. RT @duffbert: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/OqIxz2s4

  23. RT @curiousmitch: RT @duffbert: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/YCXb9ePS

  24. Tyson Goodridge Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    :-) Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/kSt6oflz

  25. Sebastian Squarehead Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/oGaWzE0o

  26. NatalieSecretan Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    RT @goodridge: :-) Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/kSt6oflz

  27. RT @SebastiansCube: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/oGaWzE0o

  28. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/kAIj1nqB RT @goodridge: :-) <-HEAR HEAR!

  29. Carissa O’Brien Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Working from home may be the healthier choice. “Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you”: http://t.co/73VfBTVO

  30. RT @duffbert: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/OqIxz2s4

  31. Alltop Lifehacks Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/AhUYX0UL

  32. Jessica Stillman Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/vldg7lqF

  33. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you – Sky high gas bills, road rage, unpleasant body odors on … http://t.co/MryQC58f

  34. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you – Sky high gas bills, road rage, unpleasant body odors on … http://t.co/aI1Qe5yd

  35. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/ZJtOEMUl

  36. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/8qUY9NXy

  37. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you #gigaom http://t.co/cEI88aES

  38. Alban Leveau-Vallier Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/71H3frv6

  39. RT @paulcbrady: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you #gigaom http://t.co/cEI88aES

  40. Is your commute making you sick? http://t.co/BNuRjcT6 A recent study shows commuting is bad for your health.

  41. Is your commute making you sick? http://t.co/BNuRjcT6 A recent study shows commuting is bad for your health.

  42. RT @goodridge: :-) Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/pbxEdh3M

  43. YES! RT @htoby: RT @goodridge: :-) Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/TUNtmqpV

  44. Martin Lieberman Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    No comments from @jmeserve @jviscarolasaga on this one, please – http://t.co/AHsprOsC (via @gigaom)

  45. Commuting is killing us, who knew? (um, I did!) http://t.co/4Dxx1Sv8

  46. RT @martinlieberman: No comments from @jmeserve @jviscarolasaga on this one, please – http://t.co/AHsprOsC (via @gigaom)

  47. The Business Corners Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to #work remotely: #Commuting is killing you http://t.co/mEoMvLvl via @gigaom

  48. #in Good news for those of us who work at home – http://t.co/G4AVb2xv

  49. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/h4jaA3Y5

  50. RT @HelenMaryLabao: Sighs. Totoo. RT @likke: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/PRviypdk #webworking

  51. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you — Online Collaboration http://t.co/UaPdt4jl

  52. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/Mga0swmj #telework #virtual

  53. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/w5ZZZZbx

  54. There would be many areas in our economy where you can’t live without your presence in the work place. so this option is available for select few in the new economy world only.

  55. Cheeky Monkey Media Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you — Online Collaboration http://t.co/3pb6o9gO

  56. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/XAJUnpJH

  57. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/xVBeSfih) http://t.co/xMFMmyBz

  58. SylvainePascual Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Commuting is killing you http://t.co/ThBhs1IU #télétravail

  59. Ithaque Coaching Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Commuting is killing you http://t.co/kpRwKvbg #télétravail

  60. RT @SylvainePascual: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/ThBhs1IU #télétravail

  61. RT @SylvainePascual: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/ThBhs1IU #télétravail

  62. JEANTET Isabelle Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    RT @SylvainePascual: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/ThBhs1IU #télétravail

  63. The inherant problem with the non-workplace mantra is how it intimidates managerial bureaucratic heads who make a career out of appearing important. If it can be clearly identified that their presence does not improve production than who is going to buy all the suits?

  64. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/enegylfi #virtual #communication #collaboration

  65. Problem with the anti-office approach is Managers. There is an existing mantra from old-school ways that Managers are necessary to “herd” the employees production. If employees production improves without their involvement than their importance depletes drastically. How can they pretend to work now?

  66. “@lorievela: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/XWeuRnB1 #virtual #communication #collaboration”

  67. RT @SylvainePascual: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/ThBhs1IU #télétravail

  68. There is no shortage of reason to telecommute or telework. They always will exist. The key is getting people to take the step.

  69. RT @lorievela: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/JlqPNEEw #virtual #communication #collaboration

  70. RT @lorievela: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/GFcqwTlD #virtual #communication #collaboration

  71. RT @likke: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/CpqXOJ8m #webworking

  72. RT @likke: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/CpqXOJ8m #webworking

  73. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/gPi4UdJm #virtual #communication #collaboration

  74. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/gWj380bo

  75. Commuting is to work is killing you http://t.co/1gQmhFAS

  76. RT @likke: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/CpqXOJ8m #webworking

  77. RT @JimAyson: Commuting is to work is killing you http://t.co/1gQmhFAS

  78. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/kiUd5uxl via @WebWorkerDaily

  79. paloma giraudo galan Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    RT @franciscojsaez: “@lorievela: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/XWeuRnB1 #virtual #communication #collaboration”

  80. Remote Worker Daily Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Here in the Washington DC area, the traffice and corresponding commute time is reason enough.

  81. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/LWantDRD

  82. Something to think about on the way to work today http://t.co/w4lEdBhC But we all know that right?

  83. Goed idee om morgen thuis te werken dus :) RT @Burgemeester Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/X8jubw3E

  84. I spent 3 hours in my car yesterday, I concur – Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/5BnjlSDY

  85. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/1H1UMpSC

  86. RT @gadgetboy: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/1H1UMpSC

  87. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/Nq7VpANw #Cmgr #Collaboration #Communities

  88. I SO relate-> “@GinoRossi: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/3USAavvC #Cmgr #Collaboration #Communities”

  89. Lifestyle Careers Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/OFXlPvS3

  90. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you – GigaOm http://t.co/Y7mznZKI

  91. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/rJjMnlPH via @gigaom #freelance #freelancing

  92. Freelancing may be good for your health: http://t.co/d4X11jSe

  93. Wordpress Jedi Friday, November 25, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/5Q9078a3 http://t.co/ZJ2rPtCt

  94. Brandon Bennett Friday, November 25, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/jLEjPvXz

  95. Michael J Ricard Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you by @entrylevelrebel. http://t.co/U9BFesRv Cumulative stress

  96. RT @mijori23: Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you by @entrylevelrebel. http://t.co/U9BFesRv Cumulative stress

  97. The adverse health effects of #commuting http://t.co/YtxOJGan

  98. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/xyUvw8fP

  99. RT @krynsky: I spent 3 hours in my car yesterday, I concur – Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/5BnjlSDY

  100. “Commuting is killing you”. blijf toch thuis werken. http://t.co/xBemS6cD

  101. The other comments here identify a key issue required for telecommuting to be successful – workplace culture. Allowing employees to work remotely requires managers to manage differently and for companies to provide different resources and support. Frost and Sullivan wrote a good white paper on the topic: http://bit.ly/shLqHo

  102. Simpletech Solutions Monday, November 28, 2011

    Can your #smallbiz staff do their #jobs remotely? They may do better w/o the commute. We can setup your remote #network http://t.co/DkqmCcWt

  103. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/WAuxTU2C via @entrylevelrebel

  104. Sam T @ The Coffice™ Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Commuting is killing you! http://t.co/ihXWTYDQ

  105. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/vUzz6DPp via @entrylevelrebel

  106. Andy Nilssen at WR Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/LpBB6ubP via @entrylevelrebel & @ReadyTalk

  107. Companies, take note. Telecommuting around long enough. It works & you can trust staff. “Commuting is killing you” http://t.co/jBuu8fWX

  108. Vouch. RT @merylkevans: Companies, take note. Telecommuting around long enough. It works & you can trust staff. http://t.co/VuppUFCr

  109. Hooray for a zero commute, indeed.”Another reason to work remotely: http://t.co/ppQrFA7L via @bo_knows_ “

  110. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/lZwj5qkk

  111. Some studies waste $. People who bike 2 work R healthier.Wow! RT @inboxgroup @htoby @goodridge Commuting is killing you http://t.co/UUFou1qz

  112. Simon Wyckaert Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/I4Pd9fHN #teletravail #workfromhome

  113. Another reason to work remotely: Commuting is killing you http://t.co/Z8iIhlej

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