Study Shows Commuting from New Jersey to New York by Train Instead of by Car Ups Physical Activity, Reduces Stress

Studying the effects of car versus train travel on physical activity and psychological response of commuters

From March 2002 through August 2005, researchers at Polytechnic University Department of Humanities & Social Sciences (Brooklyn, N.Y.) investigated the effects of commuting by car versus train on physical activity and stress among commuters traveling from New Jersey to Manhattan.

Key Findings

  • Findings are from an unpublished article and an article published on the American Public Transportation website:

    • Train commuters walked an average of 30 percent more steps per workday than did people commuting by car.
    • Some 40.4 percent of train commuters walked at least 10,000 steps per day, while 14.8 percent of car commuters walked that much. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a daily physical activity standard of 10,000 steps.
    • People commuting by car reported significantly more stress and a more negative mood than did those commuting by train.