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  • Commuting to Work More than One Hour May Increase Depression Risk
Sejumlah calon penumpang menunggu kedatangan Kereta Rel Listrik (KRL) di Stasiun Tambun, Kabupaten Bekasi, Jawa Barat, Senin (27/7/2020).

Commuting to Work More than One Hour May Increase Depression Risk

Jumat, 22 Desember 2023 – 18:00 WIB

Jakarta – Nobody likes being stuck in traffic, mainly due to air pollution, noise and boredom, but recent study shows that it can also have a negative impact on our mental health.

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A study published in the Journal of Transport & Health shows how some of the effects of commuting to work more than one hour can lead to depression.

Longer daily commutes have been associated with several adverse impacts on a person’s health caused by less physical activity, drinking more alcohol, and even less sleep due to less time on busy days for passengers to engage in other activities. 

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However, there has not been much research on the health impacts of long commutes to the office, especially in Asian countries.

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The recent research was conducted in South Korea, a country said to have the longest average travel times and highest rates of depression among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Researchers analyzed data from 23,415 people aged between 20 and 59 years from the Fifth Korea Working Conditions Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted in 2017.

The participants were asked to answer questions based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) five-point well-being index and researchers determined their mental health.

The research team also studied several factors, including gender, age, education, income, region, marital status, employment, weekly working hours, shift work, and so on.

The findings were published by a research team led by Dr Lee Dong-wook, a professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Inha University Hospital in South Korea.

According to research results, people who spend more than 60 minutes commuting to and from work are 1.16 times more likely to suffer from depression than those who spend less than half an hour.

The average daily commute time is 47 minutes, according to the study, which translates to nearly four hours spent commuting per week if someone works five days. Researchers say that the amount of time spent commuting can cause physical and psychological stress.

“With less free time, people may lack time to relieve stress and fight physical fatigue through sleep, hobbies and other activities,” researchers told the Korea Biomedical Review (KBR).

Meanwhile, for women, long commute times were most closely associated with depressive symptoms in low-income workers, shift workers, and those with children.

“The association between long commute times and worsening depressive symptoms was found to be stronger among low-income workers,” the researchers continued.

They added that this also leaves people with less time to engage in a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, which can also lead to depression.

At least a quarter of the 23,415 participants said they experienced symptoms of depression, which the researchers said was an index score far short of the actual diagnosis.

While this study also does not show any cause and effect, it does link commutes of more than an hour to poorer mental health and notes that the condition is most severe in men who are unmarried, work more than 52 hours per week, and do not do physical activity. give birth.

Halaman Selanjutnya

The participants were asked to answer questions based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) five-point well-being index and researchers determined their mental health.

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