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
- Additional stress
- Back and neck problems
- Less time to spend with family
- 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.