Next time you're getting worked up over the 5 o'clock rush on the connector, take a few deep breaths and know we're luckier than most.

A new study by insurance company Haven Life looked into the how much the commute time has increased for U.S. workers over the past three decades.  For the average American, that commute is now eight minutes longer than it was in 1990.  That's partially because more and more people are becoming "super commuters," or someone that has traveled more than two hours round trip for work.

If you dive into the study, you'll realize that Boise is NOT contributing to that rising national average.  According to Haven Life, only 2.3% of workers in Boise are super commuters and our area actually has the 10th shortest commute in the United States! On the average, people in the Treasure Valley workers only spend an average of 36.8 minutes round trip behind the wheel. When you consider that the city with the worst commute times (Palmdale, CA) has an average round trip commute of 85.4 minutes and 35.0% of their workers are super commuters, you almost feel a little guilty.

At least that's how I feel when I'm having a full blown anxiety attack on Monday afternoons. I take the 5:45 p.m. Mash-Up Monday class at Cyclebar at The Village at Meridian and the drive there from Southeast Boise gets my heart rate up higher than a hill climb.  I-84 is a crapshoot that time of day.  If I leave at exactly 4:55 p.m., I can make it in time to get in a good warm-up.  Leave five minutes later? The Flying Y is a disaster and I'm sitting there yelling at people to "move" so that I'm not still pulling on my cycle shoes as class is starting. It dumbfounds me that those five minutes can turn a 20 minute commute into a 45 minute one. But could be worse and now there's research to prove it.::sigh:: I guess I'll stop complaining now.

Haven Life went on to explain that long commutes can negatively affect a person's mental health (because of reduced leisure time satisfaction) and relationships with their family (it takes away from quality time together.) Simply put, people with shorter commutes are usually happier and relaxed.  That's why when you see Boise pop up on those "Top 10" lists that you love to hate, that's why you often see average commute time used pop into the factors they look at to put the list together.

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