Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy, many of us used to travel to work. (Do you remember those days?) But even back then, the subject of the commute was a thorny one. Employers expected you to spend large parts of your day sitting on buses and trains to get to the office. And they didn’t usually pay for it (even if it was a necessary cost of the job).
The commute, though, could be more dangerous to you than you think. It’s not just a matter of getting to and from work and the time you lose. It could also be taking its toll on your health.
It Is Hazardous:
Getting on the train to go to work seems like a perfectly normal and safe thing to do. After all, workers have been alighting at railway stations ever since the Victoria era. Trains, though, are hazardous. Accidents are waiting to happen around every corner.
Research suggests, for instance, that the average worker faces risks around 32 times every week when they use trains to get to work. Being packed into a tin can with dozens of other people and having to navigate the step down to the platform is dangerous. The chances of a slip or fall are high, especially when workers are in a rush and their minds on other things. Data from the UK suggest that 1.7 million people have to take time off work every year because of injuries they sustain while commuting.
The risks are even higher than that, though, in some cases. One of the worst New York city derailments of all time, with more than 200 people sustaining injuries, occurred in Union Square in 1991, proving that accidents can still happen on the railway.
It Could Damage Your Body Clock:
Evolution designed humans to wake up with the rising sun and go to bed soon after it sets. Modern working lives, however, disrupt this natural process. We’re no longer in a routine. Instead, we organize our lives around our shift patterns – and they’re not always healthy.
The commute may actually make things worse. When you get on a brightly-lit train or bus in the morning or evening, you send signals to your body that it is day time, and you should wake up. Suddenly, your body releases a flood of hormones designed to perk you up and give you a buzz. When this happens in the morning, it is healthy. But when it occurs at night, it is anything but. You wind up fizzing all evening, and when you hit the sack, you can’t sleep.
It Could Affect Your Cardiovascular System:
Finally, commuting to work could harm your cardiovascular system. The combination of sitting still for a long time with the added stress of being around so many people can lead to increases in blood pressure. When your body goes through this daily, it can lead to conditions like hypertension, which are risk factors in more severe diseases. Standing up more on transport may help.
Stay aware during your commutes to work and keep yourself and those around you safe.
Featured Image By: Pixabay