Long commute bad for your health

WorkingMotherWarrior

Recent studies have concluded that a long commute (more than 45 minutes a day) is extremely bad for your health.

Negatives of a long commute

  • Obesity
  • Additional stress
  • Back and neck problems
  • Insomnia
  • Loneliness
  • Less time to spend with family
  • Divorce
  • And the list goes on…

How it affects me personally

I’ve been trying to make the best of my commute by reading and writing, but I’ve also experienced some of these negative effects.

  • I experienced severe back pain at one stage, which still returns from time to time.
  • I have gained a lot of weight since I’ve started taking the train to work. Unfortunately we could only afford to buy a house far out of town, so there is really no other option.
  • Trains are often late in the afternoons, thereby further cutting the time I have to spend with my family. I don’t want to think about how…

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Long commute bad for your health

Recent studies have concluded that a long commute (more than 45 minutes a day) is extremely bad for your health.

Negatives of a long commute

  • Obesity
  • Additional stress
  • Back and neck problems
  • Insomnia
  • Loneliness
  • Less time to spend with family
  • Divorce
  • And the list goes on…

How it affects me personally

I’ve been trying to make the best of my commute by reading and writing, but I’ve also experienced some of these negative effects.

  • I experienced severe back pain at one stage, which still returns from time to time.
  • I have gained a lot of weight since I’ve started taking the train to work. Unfortunately we could only afford to buy a house far out of town, so there is really no other option.
  • Trains are often late in the afternoons, thereby further cutting the time I have to spend with my family. I don’t want to think about how much precious family time I’ve lost over the last year.
  • The late trains cause me to be late for my job, which make it seem like I’m not dedicated and full of excuses.
  •  My son wants attention in the morning and to spend more time with me, but I have to rush to the train station, where the trains often turn up late, thereby making my commute even longer.
  • I believe telecommuting would solve a lot of these issues. I am happy to go to the office when required, for meetings etc. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be an option in the current South African working world and most companies want to see their employees glued to an office chair for 8 hours a day.

This may be part of the reason why there is such a high absenteeism rate among the workforce and chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and back problems are on the increase.

We as employees should stand up to cause a health revolution in our companies by advocating a healthier work and lifestyle.

 

When mothering has lost its value

Recently, Barack Obama caused an uproar among stay-at-home mothers in the US by making the following statement:

“Sometimes, someone, usually Mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result,” he said. “That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

He then goes on to advocate affordable government pre-schools for millions of American children.

Where we are as mothers

Reading these articles:

has made me think about where we are as mothers in this supposedly modern and enlightened age.

Feminism was meant to give us options

Feminism was meant to give women options and to allow us to choose how we wanted to lead our lives. Those who wanted to excel in the workplace, did not have to be housewives, but could follow their ambition while still having families.

However, society has made it increasingly difficult to live on one income, so those who would love to stay at home with their children, don’t really have options anymore.

Mothering has lost its value

It seems the once important role of mothering has lost its value. Only working women are valued, a viewpoint which also comes to the fore in Obama’s speech. Family values have taken a backseat in our consumerist society.

Superwomen

Some superwomen manage to achieve at work while still balancing a family life. However, you want to have a panic attack when you read what they get up to during a normal day. As a mere mortal, I just wouldn’t be able to keep up with them. I can only imagine the long term cost to their physical and mental health.

One American working mother’s hectic schedule went viral when she just couldn’t keep up any longer and sent a departing memo to her law firm. Can’t say I blame her, as she had to survive on about two hours sleep a night.

1950’s model

This article states that women struggle as the modern workplace is still pretty much based on a 1950’s model. It is assumed that workers can do their jobs without distractions as there is “a wife” at home to organise their households and children.

Family an afterthought

Almost as an “afterthought” you try to fit in time with your family. We get to them after we finish our “important” work. It seems that at the moment women can’t have it all, at least not at the same time. It is therefore unfair to judge women who actually can afford to stay at home to look after their children.