In a report titled “The Burden of Stress in America,” released this week by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers surveyed 2,505 respondents about stress. Amongst the findings? For starters: 49% of people have experienced what they would consider “a major stressful event of experience” in the past year—and 43% said their burden had to do with health issues.
Turns out, parents of teenagers are really stressed out: 34 percent of them reported “a great deal of stress” in the past month (that’s almost the same number as single parents). And while 48% of women who were under a great deal of stress in the last month said other family members’ health problems were contributing to their stress, only 25% of men reported the same.
When asked for the everyday events that makes stress even worse, juggling family members’ schedules topped the list (we hear you!). Nearly 40% of people said that households tasks like cooking and cleaning contribute to stress, but even more stressful than that is watching, reading, or listening to the news, and just hearing what the government or politicians are doing put 44% of people over the edge.
The good news is that there’s proven relief for when you’re feeling overwhelmed. The survey also asked people about how effectively certain activities reduced their stress levels. The response:
There’s plenty of hard science to back up many of the items on the list, from the stress-busting benefits of spending time outdoors to the proven mind/body perks of exercise. Read the whole survey here, and check out our complete guide on how to stress less here.