Janesville61.3°

Boring work commute? Locals weigh in on how they pass the time

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Trish Skram
November 28, 2011

Did you know Americans spend more than 100 hours a year commuting to work? Or that the average driving time to work, one-way is about 24 minutes?

I also read somewhere that people who commute to work by car, train or bus are more likely to have health worries than active commuters who walk or cycle. This is supposedly due to people who have a lot of demands and very little control over how they meet those demands (such as being late because of traffic or home-life demands.) That can certainly put someone at a higher risk for negative health effects.

My work commute is 35 minutes (in the car) one way. I really don't mind the drive. It doesn’t stress me out. The key (I think) is to try and make the work commute productive and as fun as you can. I listen to educational podcasts and a lot of novels on CD or MP3. I don’t know what I would do without them. I can unwind from the work day, learn something new or completely break away from reality for a moment and listen to a novel or fictional story.

Wherever you live and however you get to work, if your regular routine isn't cutting it, here are a few fresh ideas from local commuters:

“I talk to my mom every morning. Using Bluetooth of course. I also listen to podcasts on the way home.”

Steve Knox, buyer, commutes an hour and 10 minutes round trip daily.

“I listen to business books on the drive to Madison or elsewhere. On the way home, I listen to fun, fiction books. Podcasts also work if I remember to update my iTouch. Since I can work anywhere and seem to be mobile most often, I do 29,000 business miles each year in my Prius. Generally, I am going to Madison, Milwaukee, Lacrosse, Wausau or Chicago. I take more phone calls in my car than anything else - of course using Bluetooth.”

Wendy Snyder Soucie, Wendy Soucie Consulting

“While commuting [up to two and a half hours a day, driving or flying], only a couple of times per week, I listen to podcasts, mostly. Many of which are current events or NPR-related. I like: This American Life, Radio Lab and 60 minutes.”

Rachel Hill Smith, account principle, MedSeek

“I have a tendency to rock out! I love music. I play it really loud in my car. It helps me break away from the work day and have a moment to myself. I also like to travel to work with comfortable clothes, then change in to work attire.”

Anonymous worker in Janesville

Do you have a commuting tip? Join the conversation.

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