A recent study has found that walking or cycling to work is better for people's mental health than driving to work. According to the researchers from the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), people who stopped driving and started walking or cycling to work benefited from better well-being.
The study found that active commuters felt better able to concentrate and were less under strain than if they travelled by car. "Our study shows that the longer people spend commuting in cars, the worse their psychological wellbeing. And correspondingly, people feel better when they have a longer walk to work," Adam Martin, lead researcher of the study, said in a statement.
AdvertisementFor the study, researchers examined 18 years of data on almost 18,000 commuters in Britain between the ages of 18 and 65.
Using the data, researchers analyzed the multiple aspects of psychological health including feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness, sleepless nights, and being unable to face problems. They also accounted for numerous factors known to affect wellbeing, including income, having children, moving house or job, and relationship changes.
"This research shows that if new projects such as London's proposed segregated cycleways, or public transport schemes such as Crossrail, were to encourage commuters to walk or cycle more regularly, then there could be noticeable mental health benefits," Martin said.
The findings were published in the journal Preventive Medicine.