Posted March 20th, 2013
About a decade ago, Rich Wener studied the habits of hundreds of New Jersey commuters who traveled between 45 and 90 minutes by train to their jobs in Manhattan.
During the last 10 minutes of the trip, they were given a proofreading test and had a saliva sample taken to gauge their stress level. They had a harder time staying on task and had elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
"There seemed to be a linear relationship between the amount of time spent on the trip and the amount of stress," said Wener, professor of environmental psychology at NYU-Poly, who commutes from Maplewood to Brooklyn. "The longer the commute, the worse the stress."