Yet Another Reason Sprawl Sucks: Long Commutes Cause Divorce Yet Another Reason Sprawl Sucks: Long Commutes Cause Divorce

Yet Another Reason Sprawl Sucks: Long Commutes Cause Divorce

by Ben Jervey

May 29, 2011

Here's another reason that our sprawled-out suburban development patterns suck. According to a new study out of Sweden, long distance commutes put a major strain on personal and social relationships, and increase the chances of couples splitting up.

From ScienceDaily:

The findings indicate that long-distance commuters run a 40 percent higher risk of separating than other people do, and it's the first years of long-distance commuting that are the most trying for a relationship.

The researcher used data from 1995-2005, and since then there's been a considerable—if not dominant—shift in the workplace to allow for employees to work from home or remotely. (Actually, I'd be interested to see a long-term study on how working from home impacts personal relationships. There are certainly pros and cons to never leaving the house and to having your office a few feet from the dinner table or bedroom.) But taken alone, this study proves the somewhat obvious case that it's not good for your personal health or relationship to be sitting in a car for hours on end every day. Environmental sustainability isn't the only good reason for living close to your work (or working close to your home). There's also fiscal responsibility and relationship sustainability too.

Photo (cc) by on Flickr

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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Yet Another Reason Sprawl Sucks: Long Commutes Cause Divorce