Consider Your Commute 90 Minutes of ‘You’ Time


Perspective is powerful.

Woman asleep on train

How would you feel if I offered you an hour and a half every day, in which you can, from a sedentary position, pursue absolutely any activity your heart desires? Reading, drawing or meditating are all on the table. Tempted?

The majority of you already have this opportunity – it’s called a commute. (Nine out of 10 Australians spend 90 minutes a day commuting.) Doesn’t quite feel the same as a Sunday afternoon spent dallying in your sun room, does it?

A lot of us view the journey to work as an inconvenience, a sort of moving prison that strips you of an hour of your life. But researchers have discovered that central to making your commute more than a chunk of time you’re fated to endure, it’s how you think about your imposed sitting time that can have great impact.

In a study titled Lunch Breaks Unpacked: The Role of Autonomy as a Moderator of Recovery During Lunch, researchers explored how the concept of activities that result from choice, rather than imposition, can change the relaxation levels of participants. The researchers described the autonomy surrounding the activity as “pivotal” in the role of replenishing those in the study.

“[The study’s author] John Trougakos of the Rotman School of Management and his colleagues discovered that employees who could decide where, when, and how to spend their lunch breaks felt more replenished by them than those who had no choice,” the Harvard Business Review explains.

Something to think about.

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