Thinking of this in a similar way that T.S. Wiley implicates electricity and the light bulb...
The automobile's popularity rise seems to chart a similar path as the rise in heart disease, obesity, etc
Driving can be seen as an acute stress, constantly having to make decisions to avoid accidents on even the most routine trips.
An acute stress that happens for a couple of hours every day could then be considered a chronic stress
I have noticed that when I get in the car soon after eating (within 15 mins), I do not digest my food as well. If this is true for others this can also have implications in nutrient deficiencies
If someone does get in an accident, even a minor one, it is highly possible that they will have been shaken up sufficiently to have increased cortisol/inflammatory cytokine production
Very few people in our modern world are able to de-stress, so if that chronic stress (from normal daily driving) or additional stress from an accident builds up it will stay elevated. Then we can see chronically high cortisol/CRP/IL6, etc
Driving has replaced walking for most people even for the shortest trips to the bank, grocery store, and so walking is often only done to and from the car
Has driving been erroneously neglected from the talk of Neolithic Agents of Disease?
Edit: Is there anything to help offset these new issues? Good sleep and meditation probably, but anything else?
Toolmaking is human behavior. But at some point toolmaking moved us from paleo to neo.
The motor vehicle comes pretty far along after the original wheel, but it definitely aids and abets Neolithic diseases. As a walker I've come to realize how hard it would have been to have only legs for transportation. Grok probably lived no further than 5 miles from food and water.
You've left out one thing in the list. Grok didn't have to worry about getting run over.
I think you've got something here; your list of driving issues is terrific.
I have a short commute, and used to have a long one. Both of them are incredibly stressful experiences, and I often regret driving to work at all. So much so that despite the crappy Eugene weather, I've tried to plan ways to bike to work; unfortunately, that eats up too much time -- nearly an hour each way, versus 12 minutes. Sigh.
Driving is really my only day-to-day source of stress in my life, but it's about 35-40 minutes a day and not constant, so I don't think the stress per se is as damaging as the exhaust etc. I'm usually completely calm 99% of the time but enter an all-consuming rage every time one of these Portland drivers puts my life at risk. I really need to rein in the honking/creative gestures/expletives but it has become autonomic at this point.
If you drive in a place like southern California, you have so many people speeding and cutting you off that you just let it go, but here the problem is a collection of myopic stoners whose dangerous idiocy should be impossible.
Driving, the act thereof, is probably pretty harmless in small doses. But when it's taken the way many people do- at 30 minutes at a time, twice a day, sitting down in box isolated from the world and the people/things with which you are interacting (the other "idiot drivers" who wait too long at lights, don't check their blind spots, etc etc)- it's antisocial, the standard commuting. Interstates don't do any better, and may actually be worse- because the consequences of making a mistake are greater, be it your mistake or the mistake of others.
Public transit is a step up- you're not driving, really, but rather just... in a room with people you don't always know. Biking and walking are probably best for regular transportation.
Yes. For me, driving is definitely a neolithic (or industrial) agent of disease. I have a one-way 50 minute commute. I get that terrible I-don't-even-know-I'm-stressed kind of stress. The kind where you wind up drained or cranky without any clear reason. It kind of reminds me of the feeling I get when I'm operating without adequate sleep.
Generally I try and listen to some "educational" or health-related podcast during the drive. It's probably a subconscious attempt to gain more knowledge about health, so I can later on try to mitigate the ill effects the driving is causing me. Ugh, it's just so roundabout.
I think it definitely is if you live in a ruralish area and travel by major highway instead of the interstate. Cars with magic tree air fresheners and stuffed animals in their back window will be the death of me! I get so aggravated with them driving 53 mph that I am super stressed by the time I get home.
Ironically enough, I love "driving" but decided to sell my car. I have been spending more time at the racetrack and less on the public roads lately. For me, it's a hobby/passion to race/drive but for daily transportation in a big city over little distance it's just a big headache and not worth the cost, monetary or otherwise.
My husband and I just got rid of both our vehicles Prior to moving to Warsaw, Poland a week ago. While we are a lot more stressed being in A foreign country where we don't know the language, I have to say, using public transport and walking has greatly improved our sleep, we are eating less, and for sure getting more sunshine so maye our D levels will hold better this winter without a lot of supplements. Just a week in to it and I'm already a believer.
Yes - as someone who has no license or car, the difference between my outlook on transportation and my coworkers' outlooks is incredible. For me, transportation is a mindful experience (it takes significant energy to go any respectable distance on a bike/on foot); for them it's mindless. For me, it's a reminder of why I care about the planet; for them it's just a chore that they try to ignore the ecological impact of. My form of transportation contributes to neighborhoods and community development (walkable areas,community life - which is also very Paleo!); theirs contributes to interstates, soulless suburbs, and strip malls.
That said, bike commuting can also be a stressor, since I have to constantly avoid insane Miami drivers who don't see me and are going much faster than I am, talking on their damn phones, not looking at the road. Getting in a bike/car collision is just as harmful as a car/car collision. But those things are more the fault of the cars I have to deal with, rather than being inherent problems of bike commuting.