Rail commuting duration and passenger stress

Gary W. Evans, Richard E. Wener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over 100 million Americans commute to work every weekday. Little is known, however, about how this aspect of work, which may indeed be the most stressful aspect of the job for some, affects human health and well-being. The authors studied a sample of 208 male and female suburban rail commuters who took the train to Manhattan, New York. The greater the duration of the commute, the larger the magnitude of salivary cortisol elevations in reference to resting baseline levels, the less the commuter's persistence on a task at the end of the commute, and the greater the levels of perceived stress. These effects were not moderated by gender. Commuting stress is an important and largely overlooked aspect of environmental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-412
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Commuting
  • Cortisol
  • Motivation
  • Stress
  • Trains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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