WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Studies Find Long Commutes Make People More Unhappy

Play associated audio

Anyone who's wasted away hours of their life in traffic on the Capital Beltway can relate to this: psychologists say the activity that takes away from our daily happiness more than any other is commuting.

Long commutes are stressful, make us fatter and harm our marriages. A slew of recent studies detail the negative consequences. According to the blog "Priceonomics," all the time traveling back and forth to work takes away time from things that would actually make us happier, like spending time with our families.

"People are not actually making what we call rational decisions about it," says Rachel Weinberger, a transportation consultant and the co-author of Auto Motives: Understanding Car Use Behavior.

What she means by "rational decisions" is some commuters value the short-term benefits of a long car commute — such as being able to own a larger house in the country — more than the long-term consequences, like poor heath and stress.

So what this really points to is a lack of housing variety closer in.

Research by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has found that D.C. area commuters want options to driving — like better rail and bus service.


For Penn & Teller's Magical Partnership, The Trick Is Telling The Truth

The duo Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller are back on Broadway. They both talk — yes, even Teller — with NPR's Scott Simon about magic, danger and the remarkable endurance of their 40-year partnership.

At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking and serving pies at the local favorite since 2009.

Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names

My Cat Xavier For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow superPAC backed Hank the Cat in the 2012 Virginia Senate election. Xavier also cared about naps, treats, and prison reform.

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.