Forget commuting on buses, cars, trains, or your own two legs. One man in Munich, Germany, said that he’s found a superior way of transportation that allows him to avoid lines, rush hours, and all the humans in confined spaces: swimming.
Benjamin David once had a 1.2-mile commute to work along the local Isar river that left him stressed, he told BBC. But once David began swimming in the river, he was no longer waiting in traffic alongside the water — and he said his life changed for the better.
“Here along the river on the local highway, traffic has become so congested, but also very aggressive,” David told CBC radio. “When I was on my bike, I would yell at cars. When I was on foot, I would yell at cyclists, and so on and so forth. And just a few metres to the side of that is the river, and if you just swim down that, it’s completely relaxed and refreshing.”
Rather than dealing with traffic, he jumps into the river.
Posted by BBC Capital on Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Swimming is more relaxing than waiting in traffic
David said that he puts his valuables including his laptop and his work clothes in a waterproof bag that floats. By holding this bag, David can gently float down the river for about 30 minutes until he reaches his office. It’s a one-way trip: David does not swim back home from work because he said he cannot swim against the current.
Although David told BBC that he has convinced a few of his co-workers to join him in the mornings, his swimming-to-work movement has not caught on with the whole city.
“People look down from the bridges and laugh or ask what I’m doing,” he said.
Of course, not everyone has a clean body of water that can carry them to work each morning. But David’s story shows that more innovative ways to alleviate commuting stress are welcome and needed.
Commuting to and from work can be an exhausting activity that puts a toll on our bodies. Science has proven that it’s bad for our health. People who drove 10-mile commutes were found to be at higher risks for depression, anxiety, and social isolation, according to a 2012 study. Even just imagining a rush-hour commute caused people’s blood pressures to spike, as one University of Utah experiment found.
And it’s only going to get worse. For workers in the U.S., commutes are getting longer than ever. A 2017 Gallup poll found that extreme commutes taking longer than 90 minutes are the fastest-growing type of commute.
So as you’re trapped in the confines of your car in traffic or are squished between commuters on subways, know that one man’s having a commute he enjoys.