Gallup Charts "Well-Being" And Commute Times

And the result is fairly obvious - longer the commute, lower the reading. Well-being is a measurement of both physical and mental health, including ailments such as back pain and anxiety. No mention of modal type (e.g, driving, biking, transit).
August 23, 2010, 6am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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In an ambitious attempt to chart physical and emotional well-being, Gallup has conducted extensive interviews with commuters. Gallup suggests some approaches that employers might take from the findings of the toll from longer commutes on workers' well-being.

"American employees report an average commute from home to work of 23 minutes. Those who do report long commutes are more likely to complain of several health problems. For example, one in three employees with a commute of more than 90 minutes say they have had a neck or back condition that has caused recurrent pain in the past 12 months

The psychological toll of long commutes may be as detrimental to individuals' wellbeing as the physical effects. Behavioral economists.... found that respondents' ratio of positive to negative emotions was particularly low during time spent commuting."

Gallup suggests that employers "who are hesitant to allow telecommuting, for example, may need to consider balancing the physical and emotional toll of long commutes against the social benefits of having employees together in the workplace. "

See the two charts: "Commuting Time and Physical Health" and "Commuting Time and Emotional Health" to see how the longer commutes result in declining results.

From "Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index": "The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index™ "is the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to measure what people believe constitutes a good life."

Thanks to Matt Williams

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Published on Friday, August 13, 2010 in Gallup
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