If you are always on Lagos roads either because you are a 9 to 5er or because your daily hustle takes you from one end of this City to another, then you are not immune to some of the negative effects Lagos traffic has overtime on commuters.
It doesn’t matter if you drive in your own neat looking, AC-tight saloon car or you jump those rickety Lagos yellow buses or you hop on those rough-riding okada riders – you can’t escape the daily honking of cars; time-killing traffic; Air-pollution from fumes, dust and smoke from road-side cooking.
The switch to Work-From-Home due to the covid pandemic has now eased as we see more and more organisations asking their workers to return back to work, students are back in school and the markets are full once again.
The return of regular commutes has hidden costs. If you’ve ever felt like you already lived a whole day before your workday even starts, you’re not alone. Commuting is known to take a toll on both our bodies and our relationships.
As you hit the road, you need to keep a close eye on the harm you might be experiencing. Here are some of the biggest negative effects to watch out for as you head to work:
YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE SPIKES AND YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH TAKES A HIT.
It doesn’t take long for our bodies to start feeling the effects of travelling to work daily. The stress of traffic and sitting sedentary for hours could be a reason. Medical experts have suggested that daily commuting could be a source of chronic stress that has been positively correlated with…High blood pressure, self-reported tension, fatigue and other negative mental or physicak effects.
YOU GET MOODIER AND ANGRIER WHEN SPEND LONG HOURS IN TRAFFIC
We don’t like feeling out of control, and nothing puts us in a bad mood quite like an unexpected delay. Dealing with traffic day in and day out is known to exacerbate stress and depressive symptoms in drivers.
The aggression that commuters feel on the road can even escalate to violence. The road rage, fighting and swearing we see daily on Lagos roads are majorly due to the stress of traffic. We have seen well-dressed corporate people shouting and fighting in traffic. We have seen “well educated” folks on Lagos roads swearing and throwing curses in vulgar language.
All of these and many more are majorly caused by the endless hours we spend in traffic. We most times carry this foul mood and aggression home and our loved ones are sometimes at the receiving end of this angry mood.
YOU ARE FORCED TO BECOME A SOCIAL RECLUSE.
Lagos traffic can ware you out so much during the week that you are not even interested in leaving the comfort of your bed during the weekend. You don’t even have the strength to go out. you are totally knackered! When friends call you to hang out or family request a visit, you are just not in a physical or emotional mood for that and if you are not careful, week turn into months and months into a full year and you haven’t seen family or friends.
This can lead to loneliness and most times depression. A large percentage of organisations are beginning to see improved productivity from their workers since the advent and popularity of Work-From-home due to the covid pandemic because now, they have more time to spend with family and friends which has contributed to improved mental and emotional balance.
YOU SLEEP LESS
Imagine a worker who leaves home 4a.m in the morning in order to beat the Lagos traffic, doesn’t to work till like 8a.m. Then closes around 5pm and doesn’t get home until 10pm after spending several hours in traffic.
He gets home, do a little clean up, gets ready for dinner, attends to side hustle (which a lot of Lagosians have by the way because you need that to survive in this city), then finaly hits the pillow maybe by 12-12:30a.m.
4a.m has to be on his way out of the house again if he doesn’t want to be late to the office. So, overall he gets less than 3hours sleep per day and overtime this can affect his health and mental well-being.
YOU GROW MORE UNSATISFIED WITH YOUR JOB
Your long, horrible journey to work can contribute to a sense of discontent. One study determined that it can even make you feel as unhappy as getting a pay cut. Even though the mode of transportation plays a role, commuting back and forth in endless Lagos traffic and affect your productivity at work and invariably making you get more and more pressured by your bosses.
A lot of workers who can afford it, now employ drivers who take the stress of driving back and forth off them so they can rest or even sleep in traffic. Good saloon cars with tight air-conditioning can go a long way in helping you get the needed rest while you head home after work. There are Lagos BRT buses with air-conditioning as well. Commuters taking the BRT routes also enjoy a bit of rest and comfort as they head home.
FOR COUPLES, IT CAN INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF DIVORCE.
We can’t deny that traffic and work stress can have a negative effect on our relationships. Couple who are both 9 to 5ers rarely have time for each other week days and when it’s weekend, everyone is tired and need rest.
When couples are apart for longer distances during the day, it can widen the relationship divides between them. It has been proven that couples who both do 9 to 5 spend more time at work and in traffic than with each other. The less time you spend together, the more you grow apart which can lead to total breakdown in the marraige and ultimately, divorce.
LUNGS EXPOSED TO AIR POLLUTION.
The time you spend in cars on roadways can be a major source of air pollution exposure, because of the high air exchange rates of moving cars. Lagos is a densely populated city therefore the endless road movements and activities, fumes from buses, lorries and cars are major health hazards.
Ofcourse your mode of transportation helps in reducing this risk a lot. Folks who commute in air-tight air-conditioned vehicles are more immuned to the air pollution than those who commute in public transport.