Study: Long Work Commutes Linked to Divorce

Posted on May 07, 2013

In the past, researchers have correlated long commutes with stress, obesity, health issues, neck pain, and even insomnia. Now, a new study found that a long commute to work can seriously affect your relationship and increase your chances of divorce. 

In the United States, about 500,000 people across the country commute 90 minutes or longer in order to get to work. Research shows that commuting longer than 30 minutes each way to your job could affect your physical and emotional health. 

In the newest study, conducted by Erika Sandow, a Swedish social geographer with Umeö University, researchers followed over 186,000 long-distance commuters who were in long-term partnerships and studied the effects of the commute over a ten-year period, spanning from 1995 to 2005. The study found that commuters who drove more than 30 miles each way to work had a 14 percent greater chance of breaking up and that those who had commutes that were 90 minutes or longer were 40 percent more likely to get divorced. However, the study also found that the effects of a long commute stopped being associated with divorce after a five-year-period; that is, commutes did not seem to affect a family once they were weathered or had adapted for several years.  

Although the study attempted to correct for other factors, it is important to consider what kind of people have long commutes and why. Poor families, families who live in rural areas, and workers who have trouble finding employment are more likely to have long commutes—and these groups also tend to have higher divorce rates. However, a commute could also affect the family in other ways—it means less time helping with household chores, less time helping with child rearing, and less time connecting with their spouse. 

The study’s findings were presented last week at the Association of American Geographers annual conference. 

For help with your divorce, contact us today.

Read More About Study: Long Work Commutes Linked to Divorce...

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny