The unhealthy cost of commuting

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Commuting times in Perth are getting longer and it’s not just hitting your hip pocket but also your health. A report released by the Committee for Perth found that, internationally, long travel times are linked to long­term serious health and social problems including premature death, obesity, heart disease, increased blood pressure, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, mental health issues, sleep apnoea and higher divorce rates.

“Perth is now the second most congested city in Australia, there’s a 31 minute delay for every one hour spent travelling during peak periods. 60% of Perth’s population growth is happening more than 20 kilometres from the CBD and our largest growing suburbs are more than 33 kilometres away from the CBD. This means that extended travel times and the flow on health issues are adversely affecting an ever­growing number of Perth people,” said Committee for Perth CEO, Marion Fulker.

“If you live more than an hour away from work, you’re spending 19 days travelling to work each year, so it’s bound to have an adverse impact on your health.

In 2011, 28% of Perth drivers felt that commuting was negatively affecting their health and 26% believed that traffic had a negative impact on their performance at work or school.

“It’s well known that when people get stressed it increases their risk of suffering from anxiety and depression, heart disease, sleep problems and leads to days off work.”

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.