SDOT wants you to be happy

Eric Morris from Clemson University and Erick Guerra from the University of Pennsylvania published a study in the journal Transportation entitled “Mood and Mode: Does how we travel affect how we feel?” The study looks at how levels of stress, fatigue, pain, and happiness vary across users of different transport types. Morris and Guerra used data collected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of the American Time Use Survey, pulling from 13,000 respondents. The transport modes included in the survey were bicycling, walking, driving in a car as a passenger, driving in a car as a driver, and using bus and rail transport.

The researchers found that those who bike are by far the happiest, with passengers in cars second, followed by drivers in cars. Passengers on buses and trains ranked as the least happy. But why are they happier? Well, our bodies respond to physical activity releasing serotonin, the “happiness hormone.” If you walk or bike, you have more chances of being happy than if you ride alone in your car, a bus or a train.

The exciting thing about this reaserch is that it encourages trasnportation leaders to ask bold new questions about the relationship between the built environment and quality of life.  We asked ourselves, what role can SDOT play in supporting your efforts to find happiness? We have a lot to offer to the cause.

Just check these resources:

The other exciting thing is that we will continue to ask questions about how we can make Seattle a city that offers transportation choices for everyone. Choose what works best for you; what makes you happy.