Commuting is seen as a necessary evil for people all over the world who have a need to get to and from work. However, commuting has a whole host of negative impacts that range from increasing the risk of anxiety and depression to increasing your individual carbon footprints. Many commuters never think about the issues associated with commuting because it’s such a normalized part of day-to-day life (especially in the US, where many people opt to own cars instead of using public transit). In this blog, we’ll take a look into facts about commuting that may have you reconsider the way you get around, as well as dive into why opting for an electric scooter could be the perfect remedy for your commute.
Long commutes can be detrimental to well-being
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but this is a well-researched fact. In this Princeton-based study, Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being, researchers surveyed 900 women in Texas about how more than 15 of their daily activities, like working, shopping, cooking, running errands, and commuting affect their moods. The daily event that most adversely affected their mood was the morning commute and the evening commute ranked as the third worst thing the women did during the day.
It’s not just about moods, either — commutes can adversely affect physical health as well. This article from Time lists out a whole host of ways that people suffer from commutes, including higher blood sugar, higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, increased backaches, decreased sleep quality, and more. Now is a good time to add, too, that you may even have to wake up extra early in order to make time for your commute. If ever there was just one great reason for an electric scooter, we have to say that it would be so that you could get more sleep! Seriously — sleep is an incredibly important part of your wellness routine. Take it from the National Institute of Health, who shares: “Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity.” With a foldable scooter, you don’t just have an enjoyable commute — you have a functional tool that helps improve your health!
Now that you know all about the health-related concerns of commuting, let’s take a look into the psychology of why people struggle so much with commuting. One of the reasons these rides are so very stressful is because they’re impossible to adapt to; once you begin the commute, there’s a number of things that can (and often do) go wrong, in addition to the normal rush hour congestion. Whether you’re stopped in your car because there’s an accident on the highway or the train is late, the nature of commuting is very unpredictable. In turn, this means that so much of our transit experience is out of the realm of our immediate control; instead, we’re forced to change things on a whim, or worse — make accommodations for the gaps in our commutes (like rescheduling important meetings because of roadside construction, or whatever other delays there are!). When you have a foldable scooter, however, you have agency and autonomy over how your commute will go. This feeling of being in control positively contributes to our overall moods and keeps us from getting to work late, missing important events, and more.
Commuting decreases work productivity
It should come as no surprise that, due to the toll that commuting takes on our minds and bodies, that our productivity also takes a hit after a long ride into work. If you’ve ever had a long commute, you know exactly how drained you feel after a frustrating ride to the office, and how de-motivated you are to get busy and get stuff done. The dread of a commute (or problems along the route) can also contribute to absenteeism at work, missed deadlines, and worker attrition. In all seriousness, perhaps organizations should invest in electric scooters for their employees! If you’re an HR person reading this, think about how nice that would read as a perk in your next job posting. An electric foldable scooter would definitely motivate us to work somewhere...if we weren’t already working with electric foldable scooters every day, that is...you know what we mean!
Commuting has a negative impact on relationships
Again, this isn’t subjective bias talking — this is a fact that’s been proven through research. Marriages, friendships, relationships with children — these are all negatively impacted because commuting takes away from socializing and spending time with those you love. One of the most well-known studies on this topic is Til Work Do Us Part: The Social Fallacy of Long-Distance Commuting. In this study, researchers spent an entire decade examining the effects of commuting on commuters and their spouses. More than two million people’s relationships were studied, and the results are telling: “To summarise, one might expect the social costs of long-distance commuting to reduce the quality of a relationship in many ways and thus increase the risk of separation. The statistical results from these analyses not only confirm such assumptions about social costs but can also reveal other and more unexpected results regarding the effects of long-distance commuting on relationships.” In simpler terms, the rate of separation is higher for commuters than for non-commuters. Some may find that getting another job that is closer to home is a good option, but that is not a reality for everyone. With an electric foldable scooter, however, you’ll reduce your commute time and therefore have more precious moments to spend with the people that you care for the most.
Commuting takes time away from exercise and leisure activities
This goes hand-in-hand with what we mentioned above about relationships; the more time you spend commuting, the less time you have to actually do what you want to do! Time is our most valuable commodity, and when we lose it in long commutes, other areas of our lives begin to suffer. This is especially harmful when you’re too tired from your long day to exercise, given how sitting on a long commute already makes your body vulnerable to pain and injuries. But really, who feels like going to the gym after long rides to and from work, in addition to a full workday? We would say not us, but since we use electric scooters, we have more time to pursue the things that we love!
As for hobbies, we believe that everyone should have time to do the things that they love — it’s a fundamental right as a human being to enjoy yourself! But aside from that, pursuing a hobby also has positive mental health impacts and physical health impacts alike. Consider this report from Psychology Today: “By definition, hobbies bring people pleasure. And when they do, they not only make you feel better, but they improve your physiology too. When psychologist Sarah Pressman and her colleagues examined how pleasurable activities impact our well-being, they found that enjoyable leisure activities are associated with lower blood pressure, smaller waist circumference, and a lower body mass index. People also feel better physically and are less likely to be depressed.”
Commuting takes a toll on the environment...and your wallet
Reducing energy consumption is incredibly important to the climate solutions we need to implement, as is reducing carbon emissions. There are a lot of variables to consider to determine the exact impact that commuting has on the environment, but take this number as an example: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that “a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.” While any kind of rideshare is better than traveling solo in a passenger vehicle, the best way to reduce environmental impacts is by switching to an electric vehicle for commuting — like an electric scooter, of course!
As for the financial costs involved in commuting, they can widely vary based on the type of vehicle (or the public transit options), gas costs, vehicle repair, parking costs, tolls, car insurance, and more. This report, however, shares that the cost of commuting for the average American is $2,600 each year. Wondering how that stacks up to the cost of an electric foldable scooter? Our Uber Scuuter Plus is only $1,195 (and ships for free!) and comes with a two-year warranty. Better for your health, better for the Earth, better for your bank account — what more could you want?
Commuting poses a harassment threat for women
While many of these facts about commuting may seem fairly obvious, there’s a less talked about problem that comes with commuting: harassment. While this may not be something that men think about, it’s something that women absolutely have to consider. Holly Kearl, author of Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women, writes: “During my research for Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women, I surveyed more than 800 women in 45 states and 23 countries about their experiences with catcalling, groping and other forms of harassment in public places by unknown men. It's a quintessential female experience: 99% of women in my study and a host of formal studies agree, upping the ante to 80% to 100% of women. Most women commute alone. Women who are alone are sexually harassed the most. Making the logical connections, commuter harassment is practically unavoidable. Last year in New York City, for example, female subway riders reported a spike in sexual harassment incidents--ranging from being ogled or flashed to attacked--during the morning and afternoon rush hours. For many women it often comes down to a big choice: continue suffering or change jobs.” This is heartbreaking to us, and we sincerely hope that women will consider our foldable scooter as a creative solution to improving their work commute.
Ok, so we’ve covered a lot — let’s just recap everything we’ve talked about so far. Commuting negatively impacts health and well-being; it harms relationships, takes away time from exercise and hobbies, negatively impacts the environment, costs a lot of money, decreases work productivity, and makes women more vulnerable to harassment. Yikes! The answer to commuting problems is becoming more and more clear to us: take back your life with an electric foldable scooter! If you're not quite convinced that an electric scooter is right for you, keep reading.
Other ways an electric scooter can help improve commutes
While we’ve touched on how an electric scooter can help solve your commuting problems, we recognize the seriousness of these issues and want to share more facts about why a foldable scooter can improve your well-being, increase your productivity, and lower your carbon footprint.
One of the main reasons that electric scooters are so popular is because they are super easy to use and also convenient; in fact, a foldable scooter like the Uber Scuuter is perfect for going “the last mile” on a commute. That’s because it can easily be stowed on public transit for the bulk of your ride, and then you get to save 15-20 minutes of walking time by hopping on your handy dandy electric scooter for the last mile, whether it’s to the office, to the store, or to an event. This is especially great for those less-than-optimal-weather days. You know what we’re talking about — days when it’s pouring the rain (there goes your fresh blowout), or days when the wind makes you feel like you’re participating in a Spartan Race just to get from Point A to Point B.
In addition to being convenient to use, placing a foldable scooter in your office is easy and it can charge while you work. While many other electric scooters require 10+ hours to fully charge the battery, the Uber Scuuter’s battery is all set in just three to five hours — and it can go up to 27 miles on one charge. Doesn’t it make you feel happier already thinking about how you can ditch a long commute for a fun, trendy electric scooter that can meet all of your transit needs? Read more blogs about how an electric foldable scooter can improve your life here.