UK commuters
It's a little-known fact that the London Underground is the first circle of Hell Reuters

As anyone who's had to grind their face into someone's armpit (or worse) on a crowded rush hour train can vouch, commuting is a miserable business.

Half-comatose grey-faced zombies dribble into Kindles and Metros as they huddle on sweaty metal cans hurtling into cities across the UK. And they often pay extortionate travel fares for the pleasure.

But what was known as a truth by virtue of commuters' everyday experience is now official – they're unhappier than those who don't have to travel in to work.

"Holding all else equal, commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety on average than non-commuters," concludes the 2014 Commuting and Personal Well-being report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It drew data from its past surveys of 60,200 Britons, with 91.5% being commuters and 8.5% who worked in the same grounds or building as they lived.

Those commuting for between 61 and 90 minutes from home to work were the most miserable of all when taking into account life satisfaction, the feeling of job worthwhileness, and whether they were happy or anxious the day before they took the survey.

Buses and coaches made commuters most unhappy, while travelling by train made them more anxious. Even those who can walk to work were sad, suffering a lower sense of life satisfaction and that their jobs were less worthwhile than those traveling in a private vehicle, such as by car.

Interestingly, those whose commute time was more than three hours were among the happiest.

"When the commute time reaches three hours or more, the negative effects on personal well-being disappear, suggesting that those with very long commutes have quite different experiences than those travelling less time," said the ONS.

"For example, people may be able to use their travel time more productively on a longer journey."

They also tended to have higher earnings than those with smaller commutes.

The ONS did highlight the limitations of its study, however.

"It is important to note that these questions may not perfectly capture the situation of people who regularly work from home part of the week and travel only on specific days or who live and work away for periods and only travel at the beginning and end of their working period," said the report.

"The data available do not allow us to look in detail at these types of commuting patterns."