Travelling to meet clients and or having offices too far away from home can be detrimental to your health.
In the UK Alone, the number of people who travel over 2 hours to work each day has increased by 33% in the last 5 years. This means 1 in 6 people are travelling over 2 hours on a daily basis either to their place of work or the clients site.
Not only with the ever increasing number of people either using the roads or public transport, has it become a crowded and a higher risk journey but they are now saying that it can affect our well-being.
Have a look at this extract from The Standard
Some studies have found that commuting further than 31 miles each way may shave years off your life expectancy, and women are most at risk. Furthermore, if you take a bus or a train to work and the journey lasts longer than half an hour, the impact on your personal wellbeing can be severely detrimental.
This is bad news for most people living in Greater London, who have an average commute of 46 minutes. It’s another strike against the capital: The commuting average for the rest of the UK, according to the Department for Transport, is just 25 minutes. Although Scottish people should beware – since 2015, those living north of the border have seen a 22% increase in commuting time, up to 27 minutes.
Being told to reduce your commute is like being told to buy a penthouse flat with a swimming pool. It sounds unrealistic and (sigh) is probably just another inevitable consequence of being a millennial in 2017. But if there’s one positive change to make this year, it would be to try to cut down the time you spend commuting. Do yourself this favour, and you may find you enjoy work more (plus increase the time you get to spend at home in your PJs).
Aware of my privileged position as a young, unattached person with no kids, I’ve always paid more to live centrally. This has meant my commute has never taken more than 15 minutes. Usually I cycle, and zip around central London quite easily. The rent may be cripplingly high – but at least this way I avoid shelling out thousands for a rail season ticket (upwards of £5,000 in some parts of the country) or tube pass (a Zone 1 annual travel card currently costs £1,320). For this, I am eternally grateful. There are many without this luxury of choice.
For Elena, who lives near St Albans, where she chose to buy a house was completely based on her commute. “I was commuting 40 mins when living at my mum's and now it's 15-20 mins if I time it right, while my husband has gone from 1 hr to 40 mins, with both of us driving.”
Choosing a shorter commute should, according to a study conducted by Erika Sandow at the University of Umeå in Sweden, make us healthier and happier. Squeezing onto a cramped bus, or experiencing delay after delay on the train raises our blood pressure, which in turn can lead to anxiety and in some cases, eventually, a stroke. Sandow’s study found no increase in the rate of death among men, while European women – especially those working low-income jobs – commuting more than 30 miles a day could expect a shorter lifespan. There are no clear reasons for this. One thought is the ongoing gender pay gap; perhaps our male commuting counterparts are happy to make a longer journey for greater compensation. Either way, this sucks, and we should all pay heed to the demands of time on our body.
Holly, from London, decided to change her job to avoid a crazy commute. “I was working for a publisher in Pimlico and living in Battersea. It was a 15-minute cycle and it was perfect because I could put some good music on and work out on the way into the office. When they changed offices to get cheaper rent just north of Kings Cross, my bike ride increased to 45 minutes. Firstly, I do not have the sort of fitness that allows me to cycle for 90 minutes every day, and my wage was too low to afford the tube. I decided to change my job because even the thought of getting up an hour earlier to get to work in winter made me feel queasy. Now my commute is more central and I have the same amount of money I did before.”
As you can see, travelling to work in general is not good for you. So the more in control you are of your travelling time and your arrangements with your clients, the more control you will have over your well-being.
When I work with my students we look to ensure that they fully understand the amount of time they have available to commit to travelling. We work together to create various client offerings that can balance that time and ensure that minimum time is spent on the road.
For more information like this you can always go over to The Standard