For many, driving the commute to work can be as stressful as the working day itself. With the combination of traffic jams, rush hours, finding a parking space and other road users it’s no surprise that workers suffer increased anxiety during their commutes. Making the decision to change your commute to a greener alternative can not only improve your physical and mental health but can also have a positive impact on the planet.
The health effects of non-active commuting have been described as “detrimental to our health” in a report by the Royal Society of Public Health. The combination of being stationary for long periods of time, combined with the increased likelihood of snacking can raise blood pressure and reduces the time that you have available to be physically active.
From an environmental perspective, rush hour traffic has been shown to be directly contributing to climate change and reduced air quality in towns and cities. Exhaust fumes have long been known to exacerbate asthma symptoms and people living near busy roads are shown to have a reduced life expectancy.
What can you do to MK the change?
There are lots of ways that you can make your commute greener. If you live close enough to your workplace, walking is a simple and cost-effective option, which just requires you to leave for work slightly earlier.
Cycling is a fun and enjoyable way to get about, with over 200 miles of Redways to save you time in rush hour traffic and also helping your physical and mental health. You don’t need to spend a lot on making the switch to a bike. All you need is a reliable, serviced bike and a lock.
Alternatively, you could consider using Milton Keynes’ excellent public transport. There are over 40 bus routes running in the area, meaning that you are never far from a bus stop. If you travel to work, there is also the option of combining train and bus travel. If you have colleagues who live near to you then there’s also the option of car sharing. Reducing the number of vehicles on the road helps to improve air quality and sharing the commute reduces the stress of driving every day.
Ask your employer if they have a workplace travel plan or any employee discounts or travel offers for transport operators, to help reduce the cost of your daily commute.
How to MK the change
Do some research
Doing some research can make you commuting switch smoother and stressfree. If you’re thinking of walking or cycling to work, check the weather forecast just in case you need a coat or umbrella (after all you don’t want to spend your working day in soggy clothes).
If you’re thinking about taking public transport to work our route planner can help you to plan your journey and gives you all the bus times and information that you need.
Give yourself some leeway
For many of us, the car is the easiest option, especially when we’re running late and it’s just parked outside.
Set your alarm slightly earlier meaning that you can leave the house right on time. Also, give yourself a little leeway to allow for eventualities like flat tyres or a missed bus.
Think about starting a green commuting group
Starting a green commuting group at your workplace can provide the motivation and support to make your commuting decision stick. It might be that a group of you could walk or cycle to work together. Additionally, being held accountable to a group means that you’ll be more likely to commit to walking, cycling or catching the bus.