London: Walking or cycling to work does not only save fuel but also leads to an improved psychological well-being.
According to a new study, people who stopped driving and started walking or cycling to work benefited from an improved well-being.
In particular, active commuters felt better able to concentrate and also felt less strain than if they travelled by car.
“You might think that things like disruption of services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress. But as buses or trains also give people time to relax, read and socialise and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station that appears to cheer people up,” explained lead researcher Adam Martin from the University of East Anglia Norwich Medical School.
The team studied 18 years of data on almost 18,000 commuters in age group 18-65 in Britain.
The data allowed them to look at multiple aspects of psychological health including feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness, sleepless nights and being unable to face problems.
“Our findings show that the longer people spend commuting in cars, the worse their psychological well-being. And correspondingly, people feel better when they have a longer walk to work,” Martin noted.
The study appeared in the journal Preventive Medicine.
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