The growth in commuting has brought with it another source of stress for the worker. Little research has been done in the area and what is available tends to be mainly from the US. Reports on the first part of a British study which focused on the London area. From a comprehensive questionnaire study of 370 participants it is clear that the main source of stress in commuting is the level of impedance or difficulty encountered. Long distances are not necessarily stressful, though longer‐term effects may lie in the disturbance of the balance between home, work, social and leisure aspects of life. The central aspects of stress are perceived control and social support. While the individual needs to ensure that social support is available, dealing with commuter stress must centre around establishing perceived control over the experience. Reducing impedance, by whatever means, is a major part of solving the problem. However, the individual can also establish control by reclaiming what could otherwise be a part of daily living which is endured, as an inevitable loss.
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