Does commuting affect health?

The increase in travel distances and the prevalence of car use in commuting have important health implications in addition to financial and environmental consequences. This study aims to explore the association between commuting and health from different angles using objective health measures from NHS health data. The work aims to link data from hospital discharges, the Prescribing Information System, maternity records, psychiatric admissions, Census records, and birth registrations. 

Key questions 

This work will address the following research questions: 

  • Is long distance commuting associated with poor mental health? 

  • Does road congestion have negative effects on mental health? 

  • Is using underground commuting related to birth outcomes? 

  • Does active commuting by bike causally benefit mental health? 

Potential benefits 

The project seeks to inform policy on transport infrastructure and management, as well as enhancing public awareness of commuting options and how they affect health. 

Project lead

Dr Zhiqiang Feng (University of Edinburgh; Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research). 

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