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Long Commutes: Bad for the Heart


A new study finds that, in addition to being a real downer, long commutes are related to bad health. Conducted by Christine Hoehner, Carolyn E. Barlow, Peg Allen, and Mario Schootman, the study found that long commutes are correlated with higher blood pressure and bigger waistlines.  “This is the first study to show that people who commute long distances to work were less fit, weighed more, were less physically active and had higher blood pressure,” said Hoehner. “All those are strong predictors of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.”

The study didn’t specifically examine diet, exercise, or sleep habits, but Hoehner suggests they may be to blame. “It could just be a function of having less discretionary time to be physically active,” said Hoehner. “Or it could be related to people burning fewer calories because they’re sitting longer.”