​The quantified commute: How longer work journeys impact our lives

Jawbone data shows long commutes equal a less healthy lifestyle
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On average we spend a year of our lives just commuting, so there's little surprise that your daily trek to work has some pretty seismic effects on your lifestyle.

A delve into the data from Jawbone's fitness tracker users reveals a host of differences in the lifestyles of commuters; with the effects of longer and shorter journeys to work impacting our sleep, exercise patterns and even weekends. The company has revealed the full data on its blog.

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With longer commuters averaging lower daily exercise, less sleep and more sedentary weekends, this kind of mass data can help us all make better choices.

Delving into the data

It seems fairly obvious that those with longer commutes end up sleeping less – given most people have to get up earlier to make work on time. Those with 15 mile commutes or more end up going to bed 28 minutes earlier than non-commuters, and waking up 51 minutes earlier, making for a net loss of 24 minutes every night.

​The quantified commute: How longer work journeys impact our lives

However, the effect carries into the weekend – and those with commutes get up 30 minutes before their counterparts on rest days, too.

Long commuters are also less active. Over the working year, those who commute over five miles will lag 100,000 steps behind short distance counterparts – which is likely to be the choice between the car and public transport.

​The quantified commute: How longer work journeys impact our lives

And the weekend again shows the difference between the two distinct working lifestyles. Non-commuters clock up just under 1,000 steps more over a weekend than those who travel over 15-miles to work, and that demographic seems to take sedentary habits from the week into their free time, too.

And finally there's a difference between workout times. The average commuter's peak times for exercise are unsurprisingly 6am, 12pm and 7pm – while the non-commuter tends to run at 9am and 5pm. On the weekends, the two converge to nearly identical patterns again.

What fitness data interests you most? Let us know in the comments below and we'll try our best to find some stats for future features.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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