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Bike Commuting Bumps Up Happiness

It's not sprocket science: Riding to work simply puts you in a good mood.
James Michelfelder & Therese Sommerseth

Riding a bike to work isn’t just good for your fitness, it’s also terrific for your mental health and outlook, says a new study in the journal Transportation.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, researchers compared commuters’ average mood with their mode of travel, and found that cyclists were the happiest, followed by car passengers, then car drivers. The most miserable: users of public transportation, be it bus or train.

Cyclists’ positive mindset makes sense, says study chief Eric Morris, Ph.D., since riding is, at heart, play. “The thrill of speed and control, plus the exercise, makes biking similar to activities like skiing or riding a roller coaster,” he explains. “Much biking is done purely for recreation—something we can’t really say about driving or transit.”

True—we almost never ride the subway just for fun.

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