Could your commute be killing you?

May 9, 2012 5:39:57 AM PDT
Every day, twice a day, the grind of the commute. In healthy living, doctors are saying that it may the unhealthiest part of your day. The longer it is, the worse for your body.

When it comes to Cindy Abrams' Los Angeles commute, there's one way to describe it - long. In fact, she drives two hours each way.

At some point, every commuter stares straight into the brake lights ahead and thinks it, this is going to kill me. It turns out, it just might.

In a new study, researchers looked at 4,000 frustrated drivers right smack in the middle of one of the worst commutes in the country: Dallas, Texas.

They found that those commuting 10 miles or more had bigger waistlines and higher blood pressure than those with the shorter commute.

"It's the first study that's documented how commuting distance affects objective health outcomes, so namely blood pressure, cardio respiratory fitness and weight," the study's author said.

But the reality is that Americans need to get to work

The average commute is about 25 minutes each way, and if you think your commute is bad, nearly 8 percent of America now spends more than an hour getting to work.

And the evidence is mounting that all that stress and lost time is taking a toll.

Gallup researchers found a third of drivers with 90-minute daily commutes report recurring neck or back problems.

And researchers in Sweden even found couples with long commutes were 40 percent more likely to drive to divorce court.

The advice? Seek out carpooling or public transportation, anything that can get you out of the driver's seat and give you a break from a daily grind that studies are showing really is dangerous.

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