Updates & Info
According to a recent study published by the BBC, researchers at the University of East Anglia, it has been found that ‘active commuters’ i.e. those who walked or cycled to work felt better able to concentrate and under less strain than when travelling by car. It was also found that commuting by public transport was also preferable to driving, following a study of over 18,000 UK commuters over 10 years suggested.
The study, carried out at UEA's Norwich Medical School and the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York, used data on nearly 18,000 adult commuters from across the UK over 18 years. Out of this group, 73% said they went to work by car, 13% walked and 3% cycled to work. About 11% used public transport on their commute.
Those who had an active commute were found to have a higher level of wellbeing than those who went by car or public transport.
When researchers analysed the wellbeing of a small group who swapped the car or bus for a bike or going on foot, they found they became happier after the switch.
The study looked at feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness, sleepless nights, and being unable to face problems. The researchers also accounted for numerous factors known to affect wellbeing, including income, having children, moving house or job, and relationship changes.
Lead researcher Adam Martin, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "Our study shows that the longer people spend commuting in cars, the worse their psychological wellbeing. And correspondingly, people feel better when they have a longer walk to work."
Mr Martin said the study's finding that commuters felt better when travelling by public transport, compared with driving, was "surprising".
"You might think that things like disruption to services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress.”But as buses or trains also give people time to relax, read, socialise, and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station, it appears to cheer people up."
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.