If your weight is inexplicably climbing, blame your drive to work. A new study by the U.K.’s Royal Society for Public Health says long commutes lead to increased stress, limited sleep and physical activity, unhealthy eating, and even shortened lives.
Being stuck in traffic is boring, and many people combat that boredom by reaching for snacks. Study author Emma Lloyd told The Guardian that mindless eating behind the wheel or on the train adds nearly 800 calories to the average Briton’s weekly intake.
The most popular snacks to eat during a commute include candy bars, chips, soda, fast food, and muffins — all junk foods.
Of the 1,500 people polled by the RSPH, about two-fifths said their commutes keep them from exercising. Roughly one-third said they sleep less because of the amount of time spent on the road. And, of course, those long hours prevent commuters from seeing friends and family.
The study determined that, in order to combat these health and social problems, employers should offer flexible hours or allow employees to sometimes work from home.
According to Forbes, Londoners have the world’s longest average commute, at 79 minutes. In the U.S., those who work in New York City spend the most time commuting, followed by Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Baltimore.
(H/T: The Guardian)