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.


How Do You Spot A Nonconformist? You Can Start With Their Internet Browser

According to Adam Grant, a person's preferred browser is one way to tell whether they accept or reject the defaults in their life. His new book is called Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

Calif. Restaurant Gives Diners Ocean View — Up Close

The Marine Room is a restaurant right on the beach. When the tide is high, waves will literally hit the windows.

Clinton And Sanders Test New Campaign Tactics Ahead Of New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton is trailing Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. The way they're campaigning in that state ahead of Tuesday's primary tells you something about how they're positioned in the race.

Super Bowl 50 Tightens Cybersecurity

This year's Super Bowl will be held in the most technologically advanced stadium in the world. FBI special agent John Lightfoot talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the threat of cyber attacks.

Leave a Comment

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