I94wAble to cover the four miles to work in 10 minutes by car or 25 minutes by bicycle, I consider myself very lucky.

I am amazed by how far some people commute to their jobs. In the April 16 issue of The New Yorker, Nick Paumgarten describes just how far people will go to work in “There and Back Again: The soul of the commuter.”

From the article:

“I was shocked to find how robust a predictor of social isolation commuting is,” Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist, told me. (Putnam wrote the best-seller Bowling Alone, about the disintegration of American civic life.) “There’s a simple rule of thumb: Every ten minutes of commuting results in ten per cent fewer social connections. Commuting is connected to social isolation, which causes unhappiness.”

Is this true for you? If so, what can you do to trim your commute (and increase your happiness)?