Cyclists have the happiest commute, US smartphone app shows

Cyclists have the happiest commute, US smartphone app shows

“Technology allows us to capture people’s emotional experience,” says Yingling Fan, professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Minnesota. She tracked passenger flights with her colleagues at Daynamica smartphone app Created by a company I co-founded.

This app collects GPS data on the chosen routes, then asks participants to rank slides by emotion, mapping happiness, meaning, pain, sadness, stress, and fatigue. These feelings are then transferred to the University of Minnesota’s Transportation Happiness map.

“Our research showed that cycling is the happiest,” Van . says, who tracked passengers in Minneapolis. She has been studying population-level travel behavior and associated emotional experiences since 2011.

The research discovered that the assigned path with the highest scores for “happiness” was a separate riverside carousel next to the West River Parkway.

In a short film presented to you Transportation happiness map“Urban planners have a lot of power to shape people’s emotional experience,” said Fan.

In the same movie, Minnesota Transportation and Public Health Coordinator Nyssa Tauber said, “When most people think of commuting, they think of getting behind the wheel, and that’s an immediately unhappy situation.”

Fan’s research joins similar studies that have found that those who walk or bike to work are happier than car commuters.

A survey by Statistics Canada found that 66% of people who cycle or walk to work are “very satisfied” with their commute. However, only 32% of motorists say the same, and for public transport users, the percentage is even lower, at just 25%. Only 6% of Canadian cyclists said they were “dissatisfied” with their commute. 18% of motorists reported dissatisfaction, and 23% of those using public transportation.

According to Dr. David Lewis, Fellow of the International Association for Stress Management, car and train passengers can experience more fatigue than combat pilots in combat. He compared the heart rates and blood pressures of 125 passengers with pilots and riot police in exercises.

“The difference is that the riot policeman or the combat pilot has things they can do to combat the stress of the event,” said Dr. Lewis.

“But the traveler can do absolutely nothing about it -[there’s] feeling helpless.”

Dr. Lewis said commuting by car or train makes people feel “frustrated, anxious and hopeless”.

According to Swiss economists Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer, those who drive to work need to earn more to pay for their commute, but not only in terms of pure money:

“Workers who commute for one hour by car must earn 40% more money to feel the luxury of a person walking or cycling to work.”

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