Trains, pains and automobiles – commuting has a major impact on Brits’ mental health
Almost two thirds of Brits (61 per cent) say commuting causes them anxiety, with one in three (28 per cent) claiming it negatively affects their mental health. Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May 2018), MBNA Thames Clippers has surveyed the UK’s commuters to find out how our daily journeys to and from work affect our stress levels and launched Love Your Commute, a stress-busting series to ease the commuter pain.
For a fifth of Brits (19 per cent), it takes them several hours to recover from a stressful commute with various negative effects impacting into the working day. One in five (21 per cent) say the impact of a stressful commute causes irritability with colleagues, and similar numbers say it means that they can’t concentrate (18 per cent), feel emotional (18 per cent), or experience decreased productivity (19 per cent).
Traffic causes us the most anxiety during commuting (43 per cent) and one in five say crowds and having to stand for the journey are the most stressful elements (27 per cent and 24 per cent). Plus, more than one in ten (13 per cent) of us simply can’t bear to be disconnected and named losing phone signal as the most stressful thing about their commute.
It’s not just the logistics of getting from A to B that builds strain; it is this dead time in the day that we dwell on our worries, the top concerns we think about while travelling to and from the office are work itself (27 per cent), money (19 per cent) and health (11 per cent). In fact, more than eight in ten (82 per cent) of us is already thinking about work while commuting and almost two thirds (62 per cent) of Brits admit to getting on top of their workload while on their commute, one in three (30 per cent) working for more than half an hour a day while commuting.
MBNA Thames Clippers, London’s leading river bus service, polled commuters across the UK to understand what we need to ease the pain of commuting. According to the research, to wake us up in the morning we need the ideal combination of a cup of coffee (39 per cent), sunlight (31 per cent) and fresh air (28 per cent). However, as many of one in six of us experience regular commutes that are completely devoid of any fresh air, any exercise, a scenic route or even a seat.
As a result of the feedback, MBNA Thames Clippers is encouraging its commuters to Love Your Commute and is introducing a new series of enriching activities to make the most of the time spent onboard getting to and from work. So, in addition to taking in the iconic sights along the river, enjoying refreshments from the onboard bar, fresh air (if you so choose) from the outdoor back deck, or a comfortable seat in the climate-controlled cabin and reliable mobile signal throughout; Londoners can learn something new, indulge with a freebie or enjoy stress-busting activities during their commute.
The Love Your Commute series begins on Thursday 17 May with a complimentary mindfulness session for passengers sailing to work aboard the MBNA Thames Clippers 08:25 RB1 service from Woolwich to London Eye (Waterloo). The monthly sessions line-up will include:
On Thursday 17 May, partnering with Happy Heads, busy commuters will learn how to stop, think and breathe - empowering them with simple mindful tools to build confidence, reduce anxiety and increase focus at work and in everyday life. This session will take place on the 08.25am westbound service from Woolwich.
On Tuesday 12 June, in partnership with innocent drinks, commuters can boost their brain cells on board with free samples of its stress busting super juice range
On Thursday 26 July, commuters can learn a new skill as photographer and one of London’s top Instagrammers, @Levanterman, offers an on-board masterclass in how to capture great shots of the capital.
A highlight of the Love Your Commute series, helping to alleviate money worries, will be a season ticket giveaway, courtesy of our sponsor, MBNA! Details will be announced soon via Twitter and on our website, www.thamesclippers.com/loveyourcommute.