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Study Shows That Your Daily Commute Can Make You Unhappy

Study Shows That Your Daily Commute Can Make You Unhappy

How long does it take you to reach your workplace? And how much does that commute time affect your happiness levels?

Surprisingly, this daily activity can have a major impact on your joyfulness quotient.

Many of us who work in an office commute twice a day at least five days a week. The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In traffic-heavy cities and areas, it takes even longer to reach your workplace. New Yorkers, for instance, spend nearly two hours going to and from work every week day.

Over time, this distance and extra hours begin to make us less and less happy. This is not just conjecture—two  Swiss economists who studied this have found a strong link between commute time and happiness levels.

Alois Stutzer and Bruno S. Frey concluded that people who buy a big house in the suburbs, thinking they will be happier living in a larger space, grew gradually unhappier because of the daily long drive to and from work. They simply did not factor in the pain of a long commute.

So, if you have lately been feeling down in the dumps and don’t exactly know what the reason is, take another look at your location, and how it might be affecting your happiness.

10 Things Unhappy People Have in Common

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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3:18PM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

Yeah, it makes sense :(

9:54AM PST on Feb 3, 2014


3:58AM PST on Feb 3, 2014

Thank you

2:00AM PST on Feb 3, 2014

Thank you :)

7:28AM PST on Feb 1, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

7:41PM PST on Jan 31, 2014

Thank you.

2:54AM PST on Jan 31, 2014

I always considered a commute around 20 to 30 minutes a good transition from home to work and then in the afternoon from work to home. If you leave late or if you run into unexpected traffic or construction delays, or if your commute is much longer, I agree it could very well make you unhappy. BTW, even though for myself, I like city living, many people like living in the suburbs for the calm and quiet, not necessarily for a bigger home. Thanks for the study results.

2:29AM PST on Jan 31, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

11:28AM PST on Jan 30, 2014

my best friend's mom makes USA dollars-----74 /hour on the laptop . She has been without a job for 7 months but last month her check was USA dollars-----21644 just working on the laptop for a few hours. have a peek here


8:30AM PST on Jan 30, 2014

My commute is 30 minutes to an hour, mostly depending on where I'm going but also traffic and weather. A good part of it is lovely and scenic, I sometimes stop to take pictures. If I'm in heavy traffic then 'I will get there when I get there' becomes my mantra. I enjoy listening to music or the comedy station as well. Thanks for sharing.

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