Study finds mode of transportation affects how we feel

May 29, 2014
traffic jam

What mode of transportation makes you happiest? Clemson researchers investigated how emotions like happiness, pain, stress, sadness and fatigue vary during travel and by travel mode in a new study published in the journal Transportation.

Utilizing data from the American Time Use Survey, collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the researchers were able to determine the average mood felt by people during different types of travel.

"We found that people are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation," said Eric Morris, lead author on the study and assistant professor in Clemson's planning, development and preservation department.

Morris said that bicyclists tend to be a self-selected group who are very enthusiastic about their mode of transportation.

"Bicyclists are generally younger and physically healthy, which are traits that happier people usually possess," he said.

Next happiest are car passengers and then car drivers. Bus and train riders experience the most , though a small part of this can be attributed to the fact that mass transit is disproportionately used for commuting to and from work, according to the researchers.

The video will load shortly

Their findings suggest that bicycle use may have benefits beyond the typically cited health and transportation ones, and that improving transit riders' emotional experience may be as important as improving traditional service features, such as headways and travel speeds.

"Understanding the relationship between how we travel and how we feel offers insight into ways of improving existing transportation services, prioritizing investments and theorizing and modeling the costs and benefits of ," said Morris.

Explore further: Everyday travel and the cognitive map

More information: Paper:

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Science: Public interest high, literacy stable

October 28, 2016

While public interest in science continues to grow, the level of U.S. scientific literacy remains largely unchanged, according to a survey by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

Experts uncover hidden layers of Jesus' tomb site

October 27, 2016

In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where ...

Important ancient papyrus seized from looters in Israel

October 27, 2016

(—Eitan Klein, a representative of the Israel Antiquities Authority, has announced that an important papyrus document dated to 2,700 years ago has been seized from a group of Palestinian looters who reportedly ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet May 29, 2014
"We found that people are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation,"

After living in Amsterdam for four months, I can wholeheartedly agree. Life moves at the speed of the bicycle there.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.