New study shows daily commute can be beneficial for mental health

New study shows daily commute can be beneficial for mental health
Credit: Belga / Herwig Vergult

For many, the increase in teleworking opportunities has seen a welcome reduction in the need for a daily commute to the office. But many experts believe the commute can be beneficial to our mental health by establishing a real psychic boundary between our professional and personal lives.

While working from home can help us better manage our work-life balance and the elimination of commuting can reduce time wasted and stress-induced, a new study by researchers in the United States shows that commuting can actually provide us with a healthy decompression airlock between home and work.

The authors of the study took into account two specific factors: psychological detachment from work demands and psychological recovery from work, which they called "replenishing the mental energy reserves used during work".

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The researchers then conducted a detailed analysis of the journeys of 80 university employees. Participants were asked about the characteristics of their journeys over the period of one week, their ability to detach from work and relax during the journey, as well as their emotional stress once they returned home.

According to the results of the experiment, most participants reported taking advantage of the ride to begin to recover psychologically from their workday. The greater the distance between the office and home, the higher the level of disconnection from work. Respondents also admitted that they were more relaxed once they arrived home.

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