Xanax or Ridesharing – Both Mitigate Life Stressors

Millions of people each day turn to books, yoga, prescription meds, and other tools to de-stress their lives, but maybe they should rideshare instead. After scouring research into commuting and stress, the paper “Mitigating the Stress of Commuting to Work: Ridesharing and the Interactional Effects of Gender” by Novaco and Sandeen point out that “ridesharing has some stress mitigating effects…” (Novaco 1992) Ridesharers included participants that either commuted via carpool or vanpool.

This report yielded many insights including gender differences and the differences between rideshare drivers, rideshare passengers and solo drivers. There’s some evidence that ridesharers get some great benefits vs. solo car drivers. For example, mean arterial pressure for solo male drivers was 95.9 vs. male rideshare passengers reading of 87.6.

From an employer’s perspective, the job involvement scores were clearly much higher for all ridesharers. See the graph below:

An added bonus to rideshare employees is that they are more accurate in some work tasks. For example, this study conducted a proofreading test and found that both rideshare drivers and passengers were more accurate than solo drivers.

While not all metrics pointed out that rideshare drivers were better off than solo drivers, rideshare passengers seemed to almost always show clear benefits. From now on, I’ve decided that ridesharing is a clear benefit to me and my fellow employees, and I might just volunteer to drive one day to get all the great benefits for 4 other days of the week.

Novaco, R. and Sandeen, B. (1992). Mitigating the Stress of Commuting to Work: Ridesharing and the Interactional Effects of Gender.