How stressed are the Filipinos? We’re on top of the list. In a 2018 survey, the country ranked second after Greece. Over 58% of those who participated said they had experienced stress a day before the poll. Filipinos were also some of the most emotional people. About 60% of the participants said they had experienced either negative or positive emotions.
Stress and emotions are not inherently evil. Stress, for example, is a natural response and is even essential for survival. Without it, we won’t learn to stay alert and recognize threats. The ancestors of humans wouldn’t have run away from the woolly mammoths when they ventured without their weapons.
Too much of it, though, can be detrimental to health. While many factors can lead to stress, one is more familiar to Filipinos: traffic.
Here’s Why Your Community Matters
- Transportation hub and link
- Mixed-use complex
Many of the facilities that may be essential for comfortable living are within proximity. This design has a reason: more studies suggest traffic can hurt your health. According to a Washington University study, long commutes can increase the risk of obesity since it reduces exercise time. The research also showed an association between these commutes and the following:
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Lower fitness level
- Weight gain
All these are risk factors for chronic diseases. These include heart disorders, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. In 2014, Time also curated over five studies that linked long commutes, stress, and poor health. Some of the results revealed that:
- Driving for over 16 kilometers each way could increase the risk of higher blood sugar. Elevated glucose levels may eventually lead to diabetes when left unresolved.
- Driving the same distance per way may also raise the odds of mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
- Long commutes can also increase cholesterol levels.
- With all these risk factors present, the commuter would then experience a decline in happiness and life satisfaction.
How Bad Is PH Traffic?
To give you a better perspective on the results above, 16 kilometers is traveling from Mandaluyong to Quezon City through EDSA. It’s also about half the distance between Cavite and Manila. Such trips, though, can take more than an hour in the country because of traffic. In the 2019 report by Waze, Metro Manila was the worst city for commuting.
It took almost five minutes to cover a kilometer. When you do the math, Filipinos spent nearly three hours of their time hustling in the busy streets. A JICA report, meanwhile, revealed that the country loses a whopping 3.5 billion pesos every day because of traffic congestion. This amount represents missed opportunities, such as higher work productivity.
A study by Kaibigan ng Kaunlaran at Kalikasan (KKK) showed higher incidents of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases among commuters in Metro Manila. The longer they’re exposed to chemicals and smoke, the more they increase their risks to these conditions.
What accounts for the quality of life? Many health experts believe it’s general comfort and well-being. The person doesn’t experience significant chronic stress and isn’t prone to risk factors for chronic diseases. Because of this, the benefits of townships go beyond location. They help promote quality of life by providing many Filipinos the option to avoid unhealthy long commutes.