Everybody who drives a car knows the perils of sitting in traffic. After so many hours of watching taillights and inching across the roads, it can take a toll on your body. With more and more people on the road, your increased inactivity in the car may have you at risk for developing a variety of health conditions.
When you are inactive, your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, or weight problems increase. Add that hour or so of traffic everyday to your inactivity and you are headed down an unhealthy path.
Inactivity aside, you are probably unaware that air pollution in your car is a real thing. Closing the windows, relishing in the air conditioning, and jamming out to the radio doesn’t seal you off from air pollution. There was a study conducted that found that air pollution in your car is a real thing. In fact, it’s 15 times worse than walking around outside.
We are going to get a little sciency for a second, so bear with us. Every car has a ventilation system, but each system doesn’t prevent large matter from entering your car. Basically, this means that pollutants are getting trapped in your car and you are breathing that polluted air.
How much time do you spend in your car? The number of hours spent in a car varies from person to person and from city to city. On average, people in Boston don’t spend as much time in traffic as people in Los Angeles. The data suggests that drivers 16 and up spend an average of an hour in the car on each commute. That’s two hours a day in the car, people!
When you are behind the wheel for hours every month, the findings show that the air you breathe exceeds the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) limits. Cars emit many pollutants, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Those fumes creep their way into cars; and nitrogen oxide pollution kills about 23,500 people a year in the U.K.
The best thing you can do to have the freshest air in your car is to roll up the windows and recirculate the air. Unless you’re driving through the woodland hills with your face out the window like a dog, keep those windows rolled up. Recirculate the air in your car by pressing that little button by the air conditioning. Every now and then the car may get stuffy if two or more people are in it. Pull in outside air for a few minutes, go back to recirculating the air, and repeat that cycle.