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Gloucestershire Business News

Four out of five Brits feeling stressed

Britain is in the grip of a stress epidemic, with 82% of British adults feeling stressed at least some of the time during a typical week.

And almost a tenth (8%) feel stressed all the time, according to AXA's Stress Index, based on a survey of 4,000 UK adults.

Pressure at work is a top cause of stress and is closely linked to the 'always on' culture, with almost three in every five Brits (59%) admitting to taking calls outside of working hours and more than half (55%) checking their emails.

Other major causes os stress are health concerns, worries about salary prospects (72%) and concerns about paying household bills (60%).

The research suggests there is a real gender divide when it comes to stress. Whilst women are most stressed about their personal finances (43%) and the health of their family and friends (41%), men are most stressed about work (41%), followed by their personal financial situation (32%).

To relieve their stress, the majority of Brits (51%) watch TV, while 42% listen to music and 39% read a book. A further 28% drink alcohol to help combat stress, while more than one in ten (11%) smoke. A third of Brits exercise to relieve stress.

Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services. AXA PPP, 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. 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."

AXA suggests these top tips for beating stress:

  • Sleep well, take the time to unwind and make sure you eat properly and healthily.
  • Exercise helps reduce stress. Even if you can't get to the gym, a walk around the block will help.
  • Putting phones, laptops and tablets away before you go to bed can help cut your stress levels.
  • Many people find watching TV relaxing and use it as a way to combat stress. But too much TV can mess with your body clock, especially if you are watching late into the evening.
  • Seek help from a specialist. Stress can cause serious burn out and can be debilitating. If you are struggling to function, speak to a specialist.
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