In 2011 a study was carried out by The Guardian working in tandem with The Office for National Statistics. The aim was to find out just how Britain gets to work. What are our preferred methods of transport for the daily commute?
In built-up urban areas such as Manchester, London, Glasgow etc, there was a significant spike in the number of people using metros or tubes. Any kind of light rail service which are synonymous with big cities. There have been also been showings that cities are more likely to encourage people to cycle to work. Although the figure averages at around 0.5%, there is a slight increase in cities.
Cars, though, are the preferred method of transport and in almost all areas; nearly half of all workers drive to work. This doesn’t seem to fluctuate depending on how rural or urban an area is. Cars are slowly becoming the method of transport of choice for the commuter with other vehicles getting frozen out.
Interestingly, the taxi is the least preferred option. There’s something about paying for a service we can provide ourselves for free that doesn’t seem very economical, isn’t there? So much so it’s even less popular than the slightly niche method of commute that is travelling by motorcycle.
But which is best? Well McGill University, Montreal published a study back in August of 2015 that actually came to the conclusion that driving was the worst for your mental and physical health (more on how the daily commute affects your overall health here)
While public transport is advised, as it is significantly less stressful than many other options, it’s said that there is still room for stress to seep back in and many factors still leave you reliant on the service being quiet and punctual. Two things most commuters know are never a guarantee.
Walking takes the top spot. This may seem impractical because simply walking to work is not an option for those of us living out of the way. However there are options.
One could be getting off the bus, tram or tube earlier than usual. You can’t walk the whole way, clearly, but there will be an option at least at some point to give your legs a stretch. These moments should be savoured as walking releases endorphins which are vital to have a productive working day.
Walking is a part of the human experience and isn’t something you have to wait for or put much effort into. Fit it in wherever you can. Be it at lunch or on the commute home if you can spare a half hour or so. It’ll break up the day and boost your mood. Treat it like eating and sleeping as essential to being a person. Enjoy it. Walk!