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Understanding Commuting Stress: Insights from Physiological, Subjective and Context Data

Luther, Ricarda (2023) Understanding Commuting Stress: Insights from Physiological, Subjective and Context Data. Master's, Universität Osnabrück.

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Sustainable mobility changes are necessary to reduce carbon emissions, improve the quality of life in inner cities and meet various mobility needs. Yet, the majority of commuters commute by car. Aside from travel time and cost, experiential aspects such as perceived stress likely influence this choice, since commuting with public transport is commonly perceived as an unpleasant activity inducing stress. The present study investigates the stress experienced during commuting and the evaluation of the commute when using public transport as well as the consequent mobility choices after the study period. Therefore, cardiological, experience sampling, and context data were collected during a real-world multi-modal commuting situation. 23 participants commuted on at least three different days one fixed route from Brunswick to Wolfenbüttel and vice versa while wearing an electrocardiographic sensor and answering experience sampling questionnaires every 3.5 minutes. The experience sampling questionnaire comprised a 10-point Likert scale concerning stress related to the travel, the possibility to freely input the emotion best describing the current situation, and the possibility to report events influencing the commuting experience. The route comprised at least one transfer and two different modes of transportation. The subsection between Brunswick central station and Wolfenbüttel train station was travelled alternately by bus or by train. After each commute, the participants further evaluated the overall commute using the satisfaction with travel scale. Collected context data comprised location and weather data. Lastly, a final questionnaire was answered encompassing questions reflecting on the study period as well as questions concerning future mobility choices. The well-established relationship between high stress and low heart rate variability was replicated in the present study. Analyses of the factors influencing the commuting experience showed that different events result in differences in perceived stress. Specifically, the events delay and bothersome people exhibited an adverse influence on both the commuting stress and its evaluation. Slightly different stress levels are also reported based on the mode and location. The differences in selfreported commuting stress between different modes of transportation and different locations are likely obtained due to the different events that the respective mode or location brings forward. The commuting evaluation strongly correlated with the stress ratings and the number of negative events reported during the commute. However, the commuting evaluation did not correlate with the number of positive events, despite it being influential to commuting stress. Concerning the future mobility choice between bus and train, however, the present study points towards an influence of the number of positive events. Lastly, the final questionnaire provided insights into the reflection on the study period and the resulting future mobility choices. Again the strong influence of events, both negative and positive, was evident. The results emphasise the added value through multi-dimensional data collection of the commuting stress, showing the importance of the experiential aspect for the evaluation of the commute as well as for future mobility choices. Promising candidates for concrete improvements of public transport can be derived from the study. By further integrating the user into mobility research, the resulting solutions can effectively encourage the use of sustainable mobility options.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/195612/
Document Type:Thesis (Master's)
Title:Understanding Commuting Stress: Insights from Physiological, Subjective and Context Data
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Luther, RicardaUniversität OsnabrückUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Number of Pages:88
Keywords:Travel Experience; Commuting Stress; Experience Maps; Public Transport
Institution:Universität Osnabrück
Department:Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Transport System
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V VS - Verkehrssystem
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - DATAMOST - Daten & Modelle zur Mobilitätstransform
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Transportation Systems > Information Flow Modelling in Mobility Systems, BS
Deposited By: Ihme, Klas
Deposited On:23 Jun 2023 14:29
Last Modified:23 Jun 2023 14:29

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