'Stress epidemic' as we suffer work, money and health worries

Stress. Picture by PA
Stress. Picture by PA

Pressure at work, financial worries and concerns about health are leaving Britain in the grip of a stress "epidemic", a new report warns.

A survey of 4,000 adults by insurance giant Axa found that four out of five felt stressed during a typical week, while almost one in 10 were stressed all the time.

Workplace stress was linked to the "always on" culture, with most people taking calls or checking emails in the evenings and at weekends.

More than two out of three were worried about their salary prospects, while almost as many were concerned about paying household bills.

Men were more likely to be stressed about work, the study revealed.

Many of those questioned said they watch TV, listen to music, read a book, exercise or drink alcohol to help combat stress.

Dr Mark Winwood, of Axa, said: "These findings illustrate the worrying scale of the UK's stress epidemic, occurring both in the workplace and at home, impacting people up and down the country.

"As well as work and finances, health seems to be a concern for a large number of Brits. People are not only worried about their own well-being but also the general health of their loved ones.

"It is encouraging to see a third of people exercising as a way to combat their stress, which is obviously a much healthier way of unwinding than smoking or drinking. Physical activity is proven to have a positive impact on mental health, even if it is just a walk around the block instead of a trip to the gym."

Cardiff was said to be the most stressed city, followed by Belfast, Sheffield, London and Leeds, while people were least stressed in Brighton, Newcastle, Liverpool, Cambridge, Birmingham and Leicester, the report added.