commute workers disease women

Got a Killer Commute? You Just May.

Commuting to an Early Grave

Long commutes take a toll on everybody, but women pay more dearly than men. But both genders can grasp the geonomic solution. This 2013 excerpt is from Pacific Standard, Apr 12.

by Michael Todd

Some workers with long commutes—more than 31 miles (50 kilometers) one way—die sooner than people who live closer to their job.

Commuting was linked to higher blood pressure, added stress, taking more sick leave, gaining more weight, a higher incidence of heart disease, and the toll that commuting takes on relationships.

There was a statistically meaningful link—but only for women, and only for women who either had a low income or low education. The correlation grew stronger as the commute lengthened.

Perhaps women experienced greater “negative stress” because they had greater household obligations than the men (even in egalitarian Sweden).

Long-distance commuters usually were taking advantage of career-enhancing employment, which suggests a fatter paycheck may ameliorate some of the stress of spending hours in the car.

To read more

JJS: One reason people must commute is sprawl. Cities cover too much area, in part because many prime downtown sites are wasted, under-used as parking lots or one-story dilapidated buildings or even vacant lots, forcing development outward. Another reason is over reliance on jobs. Currently people do not receive a share of the value of land and resources in their region, so their only source of income is their labor, and that pushes down wages, making people desperate and willing to accept commuting. Happily both issues yield to geonomics. Having to pay land dues or land taxes inspires owners to use land efficiently and getting a share of the recovered rental revenue enables residents to reject distant jobs. Perhaps declining health will spur more people to look into geonomics.


Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .

Also see:

Arrivederci Auto!

In Bike-Friendly Copenhagen, Highways For Cyclists

State Of The Air 2012 -- ALA Report

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