Ensuring the Health of Singaporeans in Their Daily Commute

Bus in Singapore
  • Choosing a comfortable mode of transport and maintaining proper posture can reduce physical strain during commuting.
  • Regular breaks and mindful load management can help prevent health risks like deep vein thrombosis and back pain.
  • Practicing good hygiene and taking preventive measures can prevent the spread of germs and infections during commuting.
  • Utilizing tech-based stress management tools and cognitive reframing techniques can convert commuting time into a relaxing experience.
  • Managing stress levels and perceiving the commute as a transition time can reduce anxiety during commuting.

Singaporeans are a hardworking and dedicated people. Many people commute daily to work to provide for themselves and their families. However, the health effects of this daily routine are often overlooked and underestimated.

Long hours spent on public transport and the occasional elbowing and jostling can affect the body and mind. This blog post will discuss some simple steps that you can take to ensure your health and well-being on your daily commute.

Choose a Comfortable Mode of Transport

One of the most important things that you can do is to choose a mode of transport that is comfortable for you. If you suffer from motion sickness, avoid sitting in the back of a bus or taking the train during peak hours. If you have a long commute, consider investing in a comfortable pair of shoes or a cushioned seat pad to reduce the strain on your feet and back.

Check Your Health Insurance Coverage

Health insurance

Before embarking on your daily commute, ensure you are adequately covered by health insurance. Many employers provide health insurance as part of their employee benefits package, so check with your HR department. If not, consider purchasing a personal health insurance plan to protect yourself from accidents or emergencies during your commute. You should consider visiting a reputable ENT clinic at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard and unprepared for any medical expenses that may arise.

Maintain Proper Posture

To avoid long-term health effects, it is crucial to maintain correct posture while seated on public transport. Keep your feet flat on the floor, your back straight, and your shoulders relaxed. If standing on a crowded train, ensure you are not hunching over or leaning excessively.

Use Hold Bars and Handles Correctly

When standing on a moving bus or train, ensure that you are using the available hold bars or handles appropriately. Gripping these too tightly can contribute to developing aches in your wrists and arms. Instead, aim to have a relaxed grip. Remember, these aids help you balance, not support your entire weight.

Be Mindful of Your Load

Carrying heavy bags or backpacks during your commute can cause or exacerbate back and shoulder pain. Maintain good posture by selecting a bag with wide, padded straps, carrying only what you need, and switching the bag from one shoulder to the other regularly.

Take Breaks

If possible, take a break from your commute now and then. Go for a short walk, stretch your legs, or do light exercise to get your blood flowing. By taking these measures, you can reduce the likelihood of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs when blood clots form in the leg veins.

Mental Well-Being

Not only does taking breaks help reduce health risks, but it also aids in mental well-being. The monotony of a daily commute can lead to stress and fatigue. A short pause to stretch or take a brisk walk can rejuvenate your mind, easing stress and enhancing mood. Consider alighting a few stops earlier and walking the rest of the way to your destination, or perhaps spending a few minutes in a nearby park to enjoy some greenery. These breaks also offer an opportunity to disconnect from digital devices and engage with the surrounding environment, which can positively impact your mental health.

Practice Good Hygiene

When using public transport, it is essential to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of germs and infections. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after your commute, avoid touching your face, and wear a mask if you feel unwell.

Precautionary Measures

Carrying hand sanitizer can be a beneficial precautionary measure while commuting. Finding a sink and soap may not always be possible, especially in transit. Hence, a sanitizer can act as a quick solution to eliminate germs on your hands. Another hygiene practice to consider is to avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces such as railings, door handles, and ticket machines on public transport as much as possible. If contact cannot be avoided, avoid touching your face until you clean your hands.

Manage Stress

Female employee relaxing

Finally, it is important to manage stress levels during your daily commute. Listen to soothing music, read a book, or practice deep breathing exercises to reduce feelings of anxiety and tension. This can help to create a more relaxing and enjoyable commute experience.

Tech-Based Stress Management

In this digital era, Singaporeans can use technology to manage stress during commutes. There are numerous mobile applications available that promote relaxation and mindfulness. Apps like Headspace or Calm offer guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music. Incorporating these into your daily commute can help transform an erstwhile stressful journey into a time of relaxation and self-grounding.

Cognitive Reframing

Another strategy for managing stress during your commute involves cognitive reframing. This psychological technique consists of changing your perspective toward stressful situations. Rather than viewing the commute as a stressful chore, try to perceive it as a transition time, an opportunity to switch gears from home life to work, or vice versa. This perspective shift can significantly reduce anxiety and stress, leading to a more positive commuting experience.

The daily commute of Singaporeans can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. By choosing a comfortable mode of transport, maintaining proper posture, taking breaks, practicing good hygiene, and managing stress levels, you can ensure that your commute is a positive and healthy experience.


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