Why does travelling, even when it is essentially sitting still, tire you more than sitting still in a stationary place?

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Why does travelling, even when it is essentially sitting still, tire you more than sitting still in a stationary place?

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There’s something called “decision fatigue” where every decision you have to make takes a bit of energy, regardless of how important the decision is, and as those little decisions build up, you get exhausted quickly.

In the context of travel, these decisions manifest as “do I take this exit? No. Next one” “Where is Gate 6? Here” “Where’s the Uber? In this area” and so on and so on, until you’ve made so many little uses of brain power that you’re exhausted.

Stress. Travel is inherently stressy and more exhausting than just regularly sitting.

Be it watching traffic as you drive yourself, being worried about schedules, nervous flyer, being worried about your luggage and your belongings, if you’ve forgot something etc.

When sitting stationary your body exerts effort just to keep you upright in your seat.

When sitting while traveling, your body exerts effort to counter every motion of the vehicle you happen to be in. Vehicle slows down, your core muscles react to keep you pressed back into your seat, and you don’t recognize this as anything more than still sitting down. Same for every turn, your core reacts to counter the centripetal motion to one side or the other.

So sitting while traveling gives you an unconscious core workout that you never recognize.

Your brain flies on autopilot a lot of the time in familiar settings, doing familiar things. When traveling, there is a lot of unfamiliar situations, places, etc. your brain has to process — where do I go, what do I do with my bag, where’s the bathroom, where can I eat, who will I be sitting with, did I forget anything, will we be delayed, why did the plane jostle like that, etc.

There is also a lot of activity, walking through the stations or airports, lugging heavy bags, that is straining and tiring.