Have you ever wondered, while stuck in your car on the highway, just how many hours of your life you spend in traffic? It’s kind of daunting to think about, and, most likely, incredibly depressing to boot. Fortunately, someone else did the math on this, so we all know just how much of our precious life is spent going nowhere.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, (by way of Best Life), the average American spends nearly a half-hour (26 minutes) getting to work. That number is nearly five minutes more than it was in the early 80s. And if you work 50 weeks out of the year, that means you spend 9 days commuting, and even more if you live in the city.
Numbers from Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Scorecard are just as cringeworthy. According to their calculations, the average commuter in the U.S.:
- will waste 47 hours and 21 gallons in 2020
- spent an extra 42 hours traveling in 2014 up from 18 hours in 1982
In areas with over one million people, 2014 auto commuters experienced an average of 63 hours of extra travel time.
What’s even scarier than crumbling infrastructure, urban sprawl and everything else that contributes to traffic congestion, is that those who commute by car every day are at greater risk for weight gain. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine:
Over 4 years, those who used cars daily for commuting tended to gain more weight than those who did not commute by car. This relationship was pronounced among those who were physically active during leisure time. Reducing sedentary time may prevent weight gain among physically active adults.
But, wait! Things are looking up. More people are getting work done outside of the office these days, which could actually make a dent in traffic. According to a study out of the U.K., research showed that public transportation equipped with wi-fi (like trains) “may ease commuter pressure on peak hours and allow for more comfort and flexibility around working times.” Now, how can we get our bosses to pay us for these off-hour work sessions?