There are a lot of reasons we at WalkBoston love walking. We love the opportunity to interact with our neighbors when we're on foot. We love the human pace of it. We love the vibrancy of a neighborhood with a lot of pedestrians. We love that walking is environmentally friendly and good for everyone's health. Ultimately, we think -- and, increasingly, research supports us in thinking so -- that walking makes people happier than almost every other form of transportation, and it does so in a myriad of ways.
I'm fascinated with all of the happiness research that's happening these days, and it's always nice when I learn something that can help me inform current and future choices. Here's one of those: The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting.
No kidding. As any of you who have had a painful commute know, this is pretty soul-sucking. Oddly, if it weren't for the occasional day when it goes smoothly, it wouldn't be quite as painful, points out Jonah Lehrer. But, if you think about it, an hour commute each day works out to more than a full day of work of time each week when you don't get to choose what you're doing. And I certainly know that nothing drives me to frustration and depression the way stop-and-go traffic can.
My commute, these days, is about 15 minutes of walking and 15-20 minutes on the subway, and I really like it. I like getting to a different part of the city every day, and I like the balance between walking time and relaxing on the train time.
How long is your commute? Do you feel it impacting your day-to-day happiness? What's the longest commute you've had? The shortest?