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.
For 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