We already know that a workplace commuter program is great for the environment. But, did you also know your commuter program might be impacting your health? In a positive way…
Well, that’s great news! But, how so?
Here’s how it works.
Your employer commuter program is most likely getting more people to take public transportation. And, studies show that taking public transportation to and from work every day actually has a positive impact on one’s health. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), “Public transit improvements and more transit oriented development can provide large but often overlooked health benefits.”
1. Public transportation improves air quality.
According to the American Public Health Association, when compared to private automobiles, public transportation produces:
- 95% less carbon monoxide
- 92% fewer volatile organic compounds
- 45% less carbon dioxide
And, yes, while we as humans do breathe out carbon dioxide, which, yes, plants take and make into oxygen, that doesn’t mean tons of CO2 emissions are a good thing. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CO2 does lead to climate change.
2. Public Transportation is safer than driving.
APTA has found that traffic fatality rates are lower in areas with public transit than in automobile-dependent communities. Towns and cities serviced by public transit have fatality rates that are about a quarter per capita of nonpublic transit serviced area.
3. Taking public transportation, instead of driving alone, is shown to reduce stress, which is beneficial for one’s mental health.
For one thing, those that take public transit to and from work aren’t sitting behind the wheel…in traffic…getting more and more agitated as the commute goes on. But, public transportation also benefits the mental health of its riders by providing access to economic, social and recreational opportunities.
4. Taking public transit encourages people to be more physically active.
Think about it. Most people have to walk to and from the subway station or bus stop, right? (Unless you’re lucky enough to have one right outside your doorstep.) Or, if you park and then take the train into the city, you typically still need to walk to get to your final destination. Public transportation gets people moving, allowing them to hit that recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day.
So, yeah, taking public transportation is good for your health. Pretty cool, right?