Longer Commutes Can Put Us on Road to Poor Health
May 8, 2012 -- A long commute may pave the way to poor health, a new study shows.
The study found that people who commuted more than 15 miles to work each day were more likely to be obese and to carry a lot of fat around the belly -- where it's especially bad for the heart -- and less likely to get enough exercise compared to those who drove less than 5 miles to work each day. Workers who drove more than 10 miles each day also tended to have high blood pressure.
"You are on your way to heart disease. You have an elevated blood pressure, an elevated BMI, an elevated waist circumference; you're on your way to diabetes and high cholesterol," says Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
"This is a person that I say, 'Change your life now so you don't get sick later,'" Steinbaum says.
The study, which is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, included more than 4,200 adults who commuted to work in two Texas cities.