Do long journeys to work have adverse effects on mental health?

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 15, 2014


This article examines whether long journeys to work are negatively associated with commuters’ mental health. Fixed-effects models were applied to the panel data on 5,216 participants in the British Household Panel Survey who were working at the time of interview and aged between 16 and 64 years. Mental health status was established using the General Health Questionnaire. Long journeys to work are associated with a higher risk of poor mental health for women but not for men, controlling for a number of demographic and socioeconomic factors. Previous studies have asserted that long journeys to work are a stressful event, which affects men and women as an acute stressor. Our results from the 16-year panel data found that the long-term effect applies only for women. The fact that women with children are most likely to suffer from long commuting suggests that such daily travel behavior is particularly difficult for women.

Published in

Environment and Behavior

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 46 , p.609 -625






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