Long commute-Driving alone
Among workers who commute in their car alone, the percentage that commute more than 30 minutes.
The 2021 County Health Rankings used data from 2015-2019 for this measure.
Reason for Ranking
The farther people commute by vehicle, the higher their blood pressure and body mass index and the less physical activity the individual tends to participate in. Each additional hour spent in a car per day is associated with a 6 percent increase in the likelihood of obesity. Longer commute times have also been associated with poorer mental health.[3,4]
Key Measure Methods
Long Commute - Driving Alone is a Percentage
Long Commute - Driving Alone is the percentage of workers who drive alone with a commute longer than 30 minutes.
The numerator is the number of workers who drive alone (via car, truck, or van) for more than 30 minutes during their commute.
The denominator is the number of workers who drive alone (via car, truck, or van) during their commute.
Can This Measure Be Used to Track Progress
This measure can be used to track progress with some caveats. It is important to note that the estimate provided in the County Health Rankings is a 5-year average. However, for counties with a population greater than 20,000 individuals, single year estimates can be obtained from the resource listed below.
Years of Data Used
American Community Survey, 5-year estimates
The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with a fresh look at how they are changing. It is a critical element in the Census Bureau's reengineered decennial census program. The ACS collects and produces population and housing information every year instead of every ten years, and publishes both one-year and five-year estimates. The County Health Rankings use American Community Survey data to obtain measures of social and economic factors.
 Hoehner, Christine M., et al. "Commuting distance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and metabolic risk." American journal of preventive medicine 42.6 (2012): 571-578.
 Frank, Lawrence D., Martin A. Andresen, and Thomas L. Schmid. "Obesity relationships with community design, physical activity, and time spent in cars." American journal of preventive medicine 27.2 (2004): 87-96.
 Künn-Nelen A. Does commuting affect health? Health Econ. 2016;25(8):984–1004.
 Highway to health? Commute time and well-being among Canadian adults. World Leis J. 2014;56(2):151–163
See how this component fits into our model
When it comes to developing and implementing solutions to problems that affect communities, evidence matters. The strategies below give some ideas of ways communities can harness evidence to make a difference locally. You can learn more about these and other strategies in What Works for Health, which summarizes and rates evidence for policies, programs, and systems changes.