It’s not just traffic: It turns out even how you decide to get from point A to point B could affect your mood.

Researchers from Clemson University in South Carolina found that traveling by bike, car or various types of public transit can actually impact one’s happiness, pain, stress, sadness and fatigue levels.

“We found that people are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation,” said Eric Morris, assistant professor in Clemson’s planning, development and preservation department. “Bicyclists are generally younger and physically healthy, which are traits that happier people usually possess.”

Those who chose to ride bikes as their form of transportation were happier than other modes of transit. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Those who chose to ride bikes as their form of transportation were happier than other modes of transit. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Those traveling as a passenger in a car are the next likely to be happy, followed by those driving the car.

It’s the passengers on a bus or train that have the most negative of emotions, the study authors found in reviewing data from the American Time Use Survey, which is collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The authors note that a small part of this negativity could be due to the fact that those using these modes of mass transit are often people headed to and from work, which could impact their attitude.

“Understanding the relationship between how we travel and how we feel offers insight into ways of improving existing transportation services, prioritizing investments and theorizing and modeling the costs and benefits of travel,” Morris said.

This study was published in the journal Transportation.

Front page image via Shutterstock