Long work commutes increase health risks

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 14, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

People who regularly commute long distances to work are more likely to have decreased cardiorespiratory fitness and a higher body mass index and blood pressure than those with shorter commutes, says a study published online May 8 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.One potential explanation for the findings is that longer commutes leave people less time for physical activity, said authors of the study (link).

Researchers studied 4,297 people 18 and older who lived and worked in 11 counties in the Dallas-Forth Worth or Austin, Texas, areas. They calculated participants’ shortest distance from home to work. They also assessed health based on the findings from clinical exams between January 2000 and June 2007. The study looked at participation in weekly moderate to vigorous physical activity during the previous three months.

Researchers found 57% of people commuted between 6 and 20 miles from home to work and 19% commuted more than 20 miles. People who traveled more than 15 miles to work were less likely to get an appropriate amount of physical activity and were more likely to be obese than those with shorter commutes. Distances greater than 10 miles were associated with an increased risk of hypertension.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn