Why Taking The Bus is Good For Your Health
Taking the bus is not only good for your health, it’s good for the planet too. But with as many as 47% of the UK’s population using the bus less than once a year, it’s clear that many of us don’t realise the benefits of a bus trip, despite the obvious drawbacks of car usage.
Driving to work or college around Greater Manchester has to be one of the least enjoyable journeys we make on a regular basis. The stress caused by other traffic, following directions and finding a parking space isn’t good for us. Neither is the effect that the emissions of our cars have on the environment as they take to the road every day.
Cycling or walking are healthier and more environmentally friendly modes of transport but these options aren’t always practical. Too far to go, too much to carry or simply the unwillingness to arrive at your destination hot and sweaty, or soggy from rain are all credible reasons to avoid our own pedal or foot power.
Public transport is a better alternative and a popular choice for student travel. While trains aren’t very flexible around a city centre, for example, bus routes can very often get us within a short walking distance of our final destination. It’s estimated that the simple action of walking to your nearest bus stop can account for half of the daily amount of exercise recommended by the Government. So taking the bus is actually good for your health.
Studies have indicated that a car journey to work or college can cause increased blood pressure. The higher levels of hostility and anxiety result in the probability that you’ll arrive at your destination far from ready to complete a day’s work or study, more than likely in a bad mood and significantly more tired than when you started.
It’s not just the daily commute by car that can be detrimental to our health. Travelling for leisure is always a better experience when you can sit back and let someone else take the strain of driving.
That stiff back that you suffer from after an hour or two of sitting in traffic with your foot hovering over the clutch and brake? That’s due to inactivity for prolonged periods of time with your muscles constantly tensed, gripping the steering wheel. And that headache that you sometimes have when you arrive home or back to your student accommodation in the evening? More than likely caused by the effort of concentrating on the roads in twilight or dark driving conditions.
Still, an estimated 244 billion road miles are travelled by our cars each year, that’s 79% of all traffic, and with 76% of households having access to at least one car there are very few of us who don’t enjoy the convenience of door to door travel.
But using the car alone (as many of us do) with just the radio for company can be a lonely experience. Little or no social interaction on that average daily commute of 1hr and 38 minutes can make us withdrawn, with social deprivation more evident in drivers than in those using public transport.
Simple social interactions such as buying a bus pass or travelcard, asking whether a seat is free or engaging with the driver and other passengers is enough to stave off the detrimental effects of social isolation. And those who get a chance to read a newspaper or book along their journey can further stimulate their brain cells.
Had a late night or an early morning? Catching up on some valuable sleep is an option when you use a bus, one that is very definitely not possible when driving yourself. Travelling by bus or train also gives passengers a chance to monitor their social media feeds, interacting with their friends and family, albeit remotely.
And a burst of fresh air when walking from the bus stop to your journey’s end will leave you arriving at your destination feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
To discover how you can work a bus journey into your daily routine, look out for your nearest convenient bus route and start improving your health today. At System One Travel, you’ll find a range of travelcards at great prices that will make your trip to work, study or leisure altogether better for your health.