People who spend more than 20 minutes commuting to work are at increased risk of burnout, says a new study.
"Stressful commute is linked to three dimensions of burnout: emotional burnout, cynicism and professional efficacy," said researcher Annie Barreck from the University of Montreal in Canada.
She, however, noted that the "effects of the duration of a commute on a person's mental health vary according to the type of transport used and the profile of the area where the person works". "A correlation exists between commuting stress factors and the likelihood of suffering from burnout. But their importance varies according to the individual, the conditions in which their trips take place, and the place where the individual works," she said.
The study involved 1,942 people, aged between 17 and 69, working at 63 organizations in Quebec. The findings showed that there is a significant link between commuting (i.e. the trip between home and work) and the presentation of the symptoms of professional burnout. The bigger the city, the more stressful was the commute, at least for people traveling by car.
"People commuting towards rural areas, or even suburban areas, feel less stressed out," Barreck said.
The findings were presented at the 83rd congress of the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) in Canada.