Tuesday, November 30, 2004

BBC NEWS | UK | Commuters 'suffer extreme stress'

BBC reports that:

Commuters can experience greater stress than fighter pilots going into battle or riot policemen, a new study says.

I am not surprised.

Dr Lewis, who measured the stress levels of the commuters for five years, has identified a syndrome he calls "commuter amnesia", where people forget large parts of their journey because of stress.

"The survey suggests an average commute is between 45-60 minutes," he said.

"That is at least a working day a week that you are losing completely out of your life.

"Switching off the mind, turning people into zombies for 90 minutes, seems to me a quite appalling waste of talent."

Dr Lewis said commuting makes people feel "frustrated, anxious and despondent".

No kidding. Of course, there is no reason to passively waste time commuting. I overcame my tendency to become nausiated when reading on the bus and am now able to read, or listen to lectures and music on my iPod. Most people I know do the same - listen to music, read, or peruse newspapers. Perhaps British trains are even more crowded than NYC's, but I am sure many people still manage to make the commute less than a complete brain waste.


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