The societal need for a mobile workforce increases time spent commuting and thus also the total workday. How this affects individual well-being and social life is, however, surprisingly little known. We investigated the relation between commuting time and mode, and social participation and general trust in other people as measures of social capital, using data from public health surveys conducted in 2004 and 2008 in Scania, Sweden: in all, 21,088 persons ages 18 to 65 and working at least 30 hr per week. Commuting by car was significantly associated with a higher prevalence of low social participation and low general trust compared with active commuting, and the association increased with the duration of commuting time. In contrast, public commuting was not significantly associated with decreased social capital measures except among long-duration commuters, who reported lower social participation. The overall pattern was similar for men and for women.
- Miljömedicin och yrkesmedicin