In Focus: How Traffic And Commuting Affect Your Health Every Day – ABS-CBN News

There’s no escaping the problem of traffic congestion—whether it’s because there are too many cars on the road, road repairs, or because intersections are flooded because of rain. Horrendous traffic and an unbearable commute has become part of our daily routine.

Aside from being inconvenienced greatly and spending hours of your time on the road, there are greater serious side effects that traffic and commuting can do to your health.

[related: The Six Fix: These Reasons Might Just Convince You To Get A Condo—ASAP]

1. Stress. As if having a long day at work isn’t stressful enough, being stuck in carmaggedon will surely push one’s buttons. Some of the things that can trigger stress would be impatience, feeling helpless, and even dealing with other motorists’ mistakes. Stress can cause other physiological symptoms such as sleeplessness, palpitations, memory loss, and even cardiac arrest. 

But in the safety and comfort of your own vehicle, you can manage these stresses by transforming your space into a welcoming abode. Even in the midst of traffic, you can soothe your senses with calming music and scents. No more feeling like a sardine cramped in an FX or bus. Just peace and quiet in your own car.

2. It may be the reason why you’re gaining weight. If you’re spending more time commuting, then that means you have less time to do other activities like exercising. According to the World Heart Federation and World Health Organization, more than 60% of the global population is not sufficiently active. If you’re not active, you may risk developing cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, abnormal blood lipids, and obesity. Developing diabetes also becomes a real risk with weight gain.

“(According to research), people who have had a heart attack are likely to report having been in traffic shortly before their symptoms began,” shared the Heart Association at its 49th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

3. It causes respiratory problems. If things get really stressful, we’re often advised to relax—inhale and exhale. But breathing traffic air pollution is an entirely different experience. Breathing in the smog composed of toxins while on commute—especially during rush hour when the concentration of pollutants is very high—can cause respiratory problems. Our lungs are most susceptible to damage as it works like a sponge, taking in toxic pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide into our body. Long-term exposure to air pollution increases your risk of developing diseases such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and even cancer.

4. It causes neck and back pain. Whether you’re commuting to/from work, the time you spend slouched over in your seat can also add strain to your neck and back. This can be avoided though by improving your posture or using a cushion for additional lower back support. It’s definitely not the easiest thing to do when you’ve spent hours in traffic. Adjusting the temperature in your car, personalizing your space, as well as streaming soothing music and sounds can help create an environment that’s relaxing.

Traffic and commuter problems are unavoidable especially when you live in the city, but there are ways to better protect yourself against stress share doctors. When commuting, consider wearing a mask covering your nose and mouth, which helps you from inhaling more pollutants. In addition, you can boost your immunity by eating right and exercising often. It’s also recommended that you reduce your exposure to air pollutants by avoiding rush hour traffic. In the case you can’t, choose to ride enclosed vehicles such as air-conditioned buses, taxis, or FX shuttles. You can also greatly reduce your exposure to air pollution by riding in the safety and comfort of your own car.

And if you truly want to permanently say goodbye to your commuting woes, you can easily buy a car with the help of BDO Auto Loan. BDO offers flexible payment options to suit every lifestyle and budget, with low rates and fast loan processing—in as fast as 24 hours! In addition, you can enjoy up to P20,000 FREE Gas with your new car, when you apply for a BDO Auto Loan from Jan 15–Feb 15, 2017  (note: minimum loan amount is P500,000; minumum loan term is 48 months).

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