Bus journeys cut stress by a third

Bus travel can reduce mental stress during journeys by up to a third, new research has shown.

A study by psychologist Dr David Lewis of 30 commuters, who made similar trips as bus passengers and car drivers, found that average stress levels were 33% lower on bus journeys.

Dr Lewis, of the University of Sussex, who is credited with coining the phrase "road rage", warned that stresses such as congestion and delays can raise blood pressure and lead to more serious health issues in the long run.

The study involved recording the commuters' heart rate and Electro-Dermal Response (EDR), which measures changes in the electrical properties of the skin in response to anxiety.

Dr Lewis said: "EDR can be a hidden stress - it's not as visible as 'white knuckle driving' or audible as road rage.

"This type of stress can have long-term physiological and emotional implications. Boarding a bus can produce significant long-term health benefits."

Findings of the research revealed that some 93% said they found driving more stressful.

Dr Lewis added: "This study shows that driving in congested traffic now outweighs any previous benefits that driving in a private car once gave."

He said three key factors make driving more stressful, including heavy traffic which overexerts the brain, congestion which can raise blood pressure and cause physical tension, and a sense of 'wasting one's life' as drivers cannot work or read as they might do on a bus.

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