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Sitting in rush-hour traffic is no fun for anyone, but new research indicates that those with a long commute are unhealthier than workers who live closer to work. The study is the first to link commute times with lower levels of fitness and health.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis studied 4,297 Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin residents and discovered that participants who drove longer to get to work had larger waist circumferences, greater body mass index, higher blood pressure and lower cardiorespiratory fitness than their peers who didn't have to drive as far.
Research lead Christine M. Hoehner told CNN that long commutes are linked to "higher weight, lower fitness levels and higher blood pressure, all of which are strong predictors of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers."
How can commuters fight back against this phenomenon? Barring relocation closer to the office, Hoehner suggests that employees integrate exercise into the workday by taking walks during breaks. Managers can facilitate the process by offering flexible scheduling to workers with particularly long commutes.
Do you have a long commute to get to work?
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(Photo credit: Kevin Utting/Flickr)
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