Why a Shoogle makes you happy

Commuters boarding the Glasgow Subway

Here’s another great reason to love your morning Shoogle to work: using public transport actually makes you healthier and happier.

Commuters who are cycling, walking, taking the train, are more able to concentrate and under less stress, than those who drive, research has found.

That’s the conclusion of a study conducted by academics from the University of East Anglia, who spoke to over 18,000 workers about their transportation experiences. Their findings have just appeared in the scientific journal Preventive Medicine.

The exercise we get running for the bus, or walking to the Subway makes public transport the healthy option.

Moreover, sitting on a train allows us to relax while we are in transit – no worrying about the SatNav or traffic diversions – and we naturally feel better.

Lead researcher Adam Martin told news media: “One surprising finding was that commuters reported feeling better when travelling by public transport, compared to driving. You might think that things like disruption to services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress.

“But as buses and trains also give people time to relax, read, socialise and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station, it appears to cheer people up.”

The researchers concluded that improvements to public transport networks will have positive mental health benefits.

The journal article said: “These results appear to suggest that avoiding car driving may be beneficial to well-being.

“This view complements existing evidence of a negative association between driving and physical health and is consistent with the hypothesis that car driving, a non-passive travel mode that requires constant concentration, can give rise to boredom, social isolation and stress.

“However this view is also consistent with the hypothesis that intrinsic enjoyment is gained from the exercise or relaxation associated with active travel.”