Abdulla Alalool, Basil Alhashaikeh, Haya Ibrahim, Rawan Majdalawi and Reham Ainawi
University of Sharjah, UAE
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Health Care: Current Reviews
Background. The health impacts of traffic congestion and long driving hours have lately grown to become a principal worldwide driving-related concern. Recently, the UAE has been titled ├ó┬?┬?The most congested country in the Middle East├ó┬?┬?; and Sharjah, the third largest city in the UAE, is known for its rush-hours; with its residents constantly spending long commuting hours in slow-moving traffic. The purpose of the study was to detect the health effects associated with driving in congested traffic, and long driving hours among Sharjah residents. Methods. The sample was chosen based on convenience among Sharjah residents, specifically drivers (>18 years of age) holding a drivers permit. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed and completed by 414 participants, and a Descriptive, crosssectional study was conducted. Results. Out of 414 participants, 66.7% agreed that they spend way too much time driving, and 86.5% agreed that they suffer from traffic congestion in Sharjah. The average Sharjah resident drives 3 hours and 10 mins per day; significantly higher than the worldwide average (p<0.0005). Traffic congestion lead to greater emotional health effects; mostly stress (80.4%) and aggressiveness (52.2%), whereas long driving hours lead to greater physical health effects; mostly back pain (66.8%) and pain in the legs (56.7%). Limitation of daily activities among Sharjah residents was the main consequence of repeated exposure to traffic congestion (81.2%), and long driving hours (65.7%). Conclusion. Exposure to traffic congestion and long driving hours correlates with a wide range of physical and emotional health distresses; each having its own respective provoking factors.
Abdulla Alalool is a third-year medical student at the college of medicine, in the university of Sharjah.
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