Costs Of A Long Commute On Your Health


Commuting to work is never fun. Fayetteville, North Carolina has traditionally been a tough commute for those who work at or near Fort Bragg. Far from the fun of a road trip with interesting scenery, most commuters find themselves crawling to work in amidst exhaust and traffic noise.

The average American spends almost 45 minutes getting to work each day with New York and Los Angeles having the longest average commute. Finding attractive housing and communities closer to work is often a challenge which forces workers further and further from the city.

Ironically, this move is often done for a more pleasant lifestyle and healthier environment, but studies show that the commute itself is almost as destructive to health.

In North Carolina, the new 295 Outer Loop will help alleviate the time it takes to get from Eastover to Fort Bragg by about 35 minutes. The connection to I-95 means it’s a short 10-minute drive by car.

Costs of Commuting

Of course, it’s obvious that there is a monetary cost to commuting. Discretionary income spent on gasoline plus car maintenance and repairs can add up quickly. According to Citi’s ThankYou Premier Commuter Index, the average American spends about $2600/year in gas alone for their daily commute. Since most families have two working adults, this can add up quickly. A typical family of four making $50,000/year can spend 10% of their income on just getting to work. This takes resources which could be used for healthy food, gym membership, kid’s sporting activities and even medical co-pays.

Stress Levels

A longer work commute brings additional stress. With the significant military community near Fort Bragg, the last thing they need is more stress. Not only can the financial impact increase anxiety about the family budget, but the drive itself can bring additional stress. Traffic is unpredictable and when delays, or the threat of delay, bring concern about arriving late to work, stress increases. This sense of lack of control either getting to work or trying to get home can take a toll on the psychological health.

Women find the commute even more challenging. Extra time spent getting to their jobs is time away from the family. Studies show this takes a toll on relationships as trying to balance family with work becomes tougher when you add in the commute time. This is only increased if one spouse is deployed and they are entirely responsible for the care of the family.

General Health Concerns

In addition to the financial loss of a longer commute, there are direct health costs as well. The time spent getting to and from the job must be accounted for in some loss at home. This results in less time for sleep, exercise, and food preparation. In fact, people who commute more than an hour each direction eat far more fast food than those who live closer to home. They exercise less during the week and have less time for recreation or relaxation. Weekends are often spent just catching up.

The impact on the physical body of a long commute can mean serious health problems:

  • Blood sugar rises
  • Cholesterol is higher
  • Risk of depression increases
  • Anxiety increases
  • Happiness and life satisfaction decline
  • Blood pressure can spike due to rush hour stress and road rage
  • Cardiovascular fitness drops
  • Sleep suffers
  • Back aches and pains

Eastover Popularity Soars

Eastover is located just minutes from the entrance to the new 295 Outer Loop making it a perfect location for commuters. Residents drive unhurried roads through pastures and farmland. Arriving home to this country lifestyle is why so many commutes to work. Now they don’t have to spend hours on the road each day.

Eastover North by H & H Homes, a new home builder in the area, is a small community of homes which offer the peaceful lifestyle that its residents treasure. This development offers a limited number of homes with half acre home sites. These homes offer side load garages and brick fronts. Interiors are graciously appointed with granite counter-tops and hardwood floors.

Studies have proven that long drives to and from work take a serious toll. Not only are there physical effects of commuting, but it adds stress to the family and takes time from healthier activities. For those who do still want to come home to the country or suburban lifestyle, looking for communities with better highway routes is critical. Eastover North, North Carolina is just one of many neighborhoods taking advantage of new highway projects across the country. Offering a quick commute to Fort Bragg and reducing the stress of its residents.