Happy 2018, commuters! It’s the time of year filled with resolutions — gyms are packed, juice bar sales go up, and you might find yourself with a newfound buzz of motivation in your professional life — and we applaud you all! However, as commuting times rise, new research shows it may be sabotaging your healthy New Year’s resolutions.  If you’ve resolved to do any of the following, your goals may be at risk:

1. Lose Weight

We’ve all been there — we overindulge during the holidays and want to start a new year with healthy habits. You may hightail it to Equinox with 1,000 of your closest friends come January 1, but according to a recent Gallup-Healthways study, it’s your commute, not your forgotten gym membership, doing a number on your waistline.  Longer commutes correlate with higher BMIs, more aches and pains, and a generally lower sense of wellbeing. Here at Chariot, we strive to find the most direct route between Home and Work, significantly cutting down on unnecessary stops and delays. Download Chariot to find the service near you. We’ll take care of cutting down your commute – the rest is up to you! 😉

Bad Commute means lowered general health - New Year's Resolutions and your commute

2. Meet new friends + business connections  

A new year comes with hopes of leading a more socially connected life, but a stressful commute could lend itself to just the opposite. Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist, contributed to a piece for The New Yorker about longer commutes and social isolation — unfortunately, the evidence shows that a longer commute means 10% fewer social connections.  Whether it’s out of stress, pre-coffee grouchiness or safety, we tend to ignore our fellow commuters rather than use that time to relax and strike up conversations. However, there are ways to repurpose your commute for something more positive — check out our blog post here for ideas.

3. Get more sleep  

Was 2017 the year of burning the candle at both ends? Sleep relates positively on your mental performance, stress level and general wellbeing, so focusing on getting 8+ nightly hours is a fantastic New Years goal. With the daily average commute on the rise in the US, it’s no surprise that this directly cuts into time you could spend resting. To summarize a study titled “Opportunity Costs Surrounding Exercise and Dietary Behaviors: Quantifying Trade-offs Between Commuting Time and Health-Related Activities” (yawn.), your lengthy commuting leads to a massive reduction in nightly Zzzs. So go ahead, hit snooze, and let Chariot streamline your morning commute.

4. Stress Less

More and more, the American worker has to hop on multiple modes of transportation to get to and from work. Studies show that long commutes (especially those requiring transfers — lookin’ at you, New Yorkers), cause high Cortisol levels. Cortisol is that pesky “stress hormone” that leads to weight gain, anxiety, and long-term health issues. Our quiet, clean, wifi-enabled Chariots aim to get you from your doorstep to your workplace. 

Ride Chariot for a stress free commute - New Year's Resolutions and your commute

5. Strengthen (or find) a romantic relationship 

This New Years Resolution is an admirable one — who doesn’t love love? However, a study in the UK revealed that longer commutes contribute to a higher break-up and divorce rate.  The above factors, namely stress, sleeplessness, and a lowered general wellbeing stemming from a taxing commute can absolutely strain a relationship. While a seamless commute can’t solve all your woes, we’d like to think the added productivity, direct routes and quiet, stress-less experience on a Chariot can help you lead a healthier life in 2018.

Now get out there, riders!  It’s a new year, so try out a new commute.

Cheers,

Team Chariot