Q&A: Why Commuting Sucks the Life Out of You

Last month, a Swedish study made a splash when it found that couples in which one partner commutes a long way to work (more than 45 mins.) are 40% more likely to divorce than couples who don't have to travel so far for their jobs.

The finding was based on statistical data from just over 2 million Swedish households, though the data didn't shed light on why commuting was so bad for marriage. However, the results are in line with past studies suggesting that commuting isn't just harmful for coupledom, but also for overall well-being, contributing to obesity, stress and loneliness. As Slate's Annie Lowrey so aptly described the daily trudge to work:


Healthland dug a little deeper into all the potential reasons that commuting is such a drain on our health and happiness, by speaking with three experts: Erika Sandow of Umeå University, the author of the Swedish research; Susan Hanson, professor of geography at Clark University, who independently reviewed Sandow's work; and Richard Wener, a professor of environmental psychology at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

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