How to define stress? Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional state that causes significant tension in the body. In simpler terms, it’s the body’s natural reaction to change, generally requiring a certain adjustment or response. The various types of stress may be categorized as either external (dealing with environmental or social situations) and internal (often experienced by individuals suffering from an illness or undergoing medical procedures).
Even though stress is usually mentioned in a negative context, most stress statistics show that positive stress can impact quality of life by keeping individuals alert, energized, motivated, and prepared to avoid any upcoming danger. Nevertheless, one must also consider the negative effects of chronic stress such as obesity, heart attack, and burnout. In today’s age, with the rise of modern technology and businesses, more and more people (especially the younger generations) get caught up in stressful and busy lives.
The Top 10 Most Essential Stress Statistics
- Individuals under constant stress have a 50% higher mortality rate.
- Those exposed to stressful life events have an 82.2% chance of suffering from constipation and other digestive issues.
- Around 31% of people are stressed out from daily texting.
- 60% of young individuals age 18–24 relate stress to the pressure to succeed.
- 83% of US workers are under significant stress.
- Around 40% of employees consider talking to their employer about stress.
- 79% of women report that money is their biggest source of stress.
- 33% of married women experience a great deal of stress, compared to 22% of single women.
- 30% of adults who exercise regularly report feeling less stressed.
- 85% of people who practice yoga daily report feeling less stressed.
General Statistics and Facts About Stress
The prevalence of stress is quite high, not only in the US but also among European citizens and people from all around the world. However high the numbers might be, it’s important to realize that stress is an everyday occurrence, and everyone deals with it to a different degree.
1. Around 75%–90% of doctor visits in the United States are in some way related to stress.
Stress proves to be one of the most significant issues among the population, especially the working class. In the case of stress in America, the statistics show frightening results. Stress-related illnesses include depression, anxiety, acne, high blood pressure, constipation, insomnia, and so on.
(America Institute of Stress)
2. 60% of the population in Japan is under a significant amount of stress.
Shocking statistics released in 2016 by Japan’s Labour Ministry show that around 60% of the population is under constant stress. This statistic explains the phenomena of “karoshi,” a term that translates to “overwork death” in Japanese. Some of the most frequent medical causes of karoshi include stroke and heart attack. Japanese individuals, as well as others who live and work in modern societies all around the world, have too much work to do and not enough time to relax and rest.
(Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)
3. 13.5 million workdays in Europe are lost yearly due to stress complaints.
These stats about stress don’t display a positive outlook in Europe either. For example, research conducted in the United Kingdom shows that around 13.5 million workdays are lost yearly as a result of employees’ stress concerns. Some of the most common issues leading to workplace stress include the fear of being fired, pressure to fulfill above-average expectations (with no increase in job satisfaction), and lack of control over how the work is being done.
(American Institute of Stress)
4. Health care and social security costs in Europe add up to €20 billion.
Not only do the effects of stress damage an individual’s health and well being, but they’re also damaging to the economy. Stress statistics from 2018 estimate that healthcare costs due to workplace stress add up to $300 billion in the US and a whopping €20 billion in Europe.
(UML) (Health Advocate)
5. 13% of children will develop an anxiety disorder due to stress.
Unfortunately, not a lot of statistics tackle the topic of childhood stress. However, a study has shown that around 13% of children will develop an anxiety disorder as a result of significant levels of stress.
Fun Facts About Stress and Its Dangers
How does stress affect the body? Being under constant pressure—whether it’s due to a hectic job schedule, a troublesome love life, or a vigorous exercise regime—can have damaging effects on the body and mind. As stress accumulates from everyday life, it can cause problems like premature aging or heart issues. Here are some of the most common dangers of stress and their statistics.
6. Individuals under constant stress have a 50% higher mortality rate.
How many people have died because of stress? Based on this study, individuals who experience moderate or high levels of regular stress have a notably higher mortality rate compared to those who don’t.
(Journal of Aging Research)
7. 51% of adults suffering from chronic stress experience symptoms of fatigue.
Fatigue—the feeling of constant tiredness and weakness—is said to be one of the most prevalent stress symptoms. In fact, according to data gathered by the American Institute of Stress, 51% of adults experience fatigue, 44% experience headaches, and 30% have tension in their muscles due to stress. For students in college, stress statistics show that they’re also victims of fatigue due to chronic stress.
8.15% of American adults claim that their love life has suffered due to stress.
Not many are aware of the fact that stress also affects a person’s libido. During stressful times, human beings need to focus on survival, not on procreation. Thus, stress (especially chronic stress) increases the body’s vital functions, which focus on survival instincts like blood flow, while eliminating other functions like sex. The stress statistics worldwide from 2018 show that this is one of the main causes of trouble in romantic relationships.
Furthermore, chronic stress causes the body to produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to lower libido levels. A good portion of the US population notices a significant drop in sex drive due to stress.
9. Individuals exposed to stressful life events have an 82.2% chance of suffering from constipation or a similar digestive issue.
There’s significant evidence that the human brain and the gut are connected. When we feel stressed, our brain produces chemicals like serotonin (the hormone found in the gut known for affecting your mood), adrenaline, and cortisol. According to the statistics about stress—and one study in particular—patients with constipation are usually exposed to more stressful life events in contrast to those who have more relaxing lives. Other physical symptoms of stress in the gut include diarrhea and IBS.
10. Individuals who are under constant stress are 20% more likely to have heart disease.
One of the most common killers worldwide is heart disease, which many researchers have linked to stress. Recent stats on stress have shown that people who are under constant stress have a 20% chance of developing heart disease and suffering from fatal instances of stroke. The stress hormones produced in the body increase one’s heart rate to an abnormal level and constrict the blood vessels. As a result, there’s a good chance of significantly damaging the heart.
Causes of Stress
What is the number 1 cause of stress? Stress can be caused by a variety of things in everyday life such as work, parenting, and romantic relationships. There are also different types of stress that relate to certain life stages: adolescence, pregnancy, aging, and menopause. Furthermore, children can also be affected by stress and its many symptoms. To deal with stress, or even prevent it, it’s necessary to find out its most prevalent causes.
11. 28% of American citizens claim that debt and other financial issues stress them out.
Financial stress is nothing to joke about. Stress statistics from 2017 show that American citizens deal with tremendous anxiety over unpaid bills, leading to poor sleep and stress at work.
(Journal of Accountancy)
12. Around 31% of people are stressed due to daily texting.
When the trend of texting started, it was all about sending a short message to a loved one and staying in touch with people who live far away. However, nowadays, many memes, gifs, and countless images cause our phones to blow up during the day.
Viber conducted research in the US and UK on the topic of text messaging habits and various attitudes. The results from the poll found that texting is a daily source of stress for 31% of people. One can only imagine what the holiday stress statistics will show about the frequency of texting this time of year. An excellent way to combat texting-related stress is turning off your phone for a couple of hours or just limiting your total texting time.
13. 49% of young individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 experience high levels of stress from comparing themselves to others.
What causes stress among the younger generations? Statistics on stress and a 2018 study on stress levels in the UK found that the highest percentage of stress was shown among the age group of individuals between 18 and 24 years. A shocking 49% of them felt stressed when comparing themselves to others. Nevertheless, social comparison affects everyone. It might happen due to the increased popularity of expensive brand names and the false picture portrayed by social media and popular music.
(Mental Health Foundation)
14. 32% of young individuals aged 18–24 are stressed due to housing worries.
Housing stress relates to situations where the rent (or mortgage) is much higher than the household income. Teenage stress statistics and the previously mentioned study by the Mental Health Foundation found that housing is one of the most frequent sources of stress, especially for younger individuals between the ages of 18 and 24. The study also analyzed older individuals of 45–55 years, of whom 22% are affected by housing stress.
(Mental Health Foundation)
15. 60% of young individuals aged 18–24 relate stress to the pressure to succeed.
In fact, this group is so stressed from the pressure to succeed, they’re unable to lead normal lives. And when it comes to homework stress, statistics have shown that the younger generation is especially impacted by high expectations from parents and teachers. The Mental Health Foundation’s study is considered the most accurate stress survey ever conducted across the UK—up to 4,619 people took part in it. However, some believe that the pressure to succeed contributes to good stress, helping students be more alert and motivated.
(Mental Health Foundation)
Stress Facts at Work
With innovative brands and big companies popping up on every corner, it’s no wonder that work-related stress is an increasingly huge issue all around the world. Some of the most common stress-related complaints during working hours include insomnia, headaches, lack of energy, and lack of focus. Here are some of the most important work-related statistics.
16. 83% of US workers are under significant stress.
Stress stats have shown that around 83% of professionals living and working in the US experience stress during their work hours. Some of the most frequent reasons this might occur include low pay, too much work, lack of job security, and a poor work-life balance. In the words of the survey’s spokesman, John Swartz, “More companies are hiring, but the workers are still weary and stressed out from years of a troubled economy that has brought about longer hours, layoffs and budget costs.”
17. 14% of US employees have wanted to resort to physical violence in the workplace due to stress.
When talking about stress in the workplace, stats claim that some indicators that might lead to violence include hostility toward coworkers, a significant reduction in quality of the work, and physical signs of exhaustion and burnout. The facts about stress and a survey by Gallup found that 14% of employees wanted to hit their colleagues due to feeling overwhelmed by stress.
18. Around 40% of employees consider talking to their employer about stress.
The stress facts and statistics from 2018 provided by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America came to this shocking conclusion. The numbers also show that many employees are afraid of being declared weak (31%), being denied a promotion (22%), or being laughed at (20%).
19. 76% of employees are stressed out due to work and money issues.
When it comes to stress in the workplace, the statistics don’t show positive and reassuring results. One report found that 76% of workers claim that the most obvious causes of stress are work and money problems. This is natural considering how underpaid and overworked many of them are.
20. 48% of employees can’t sleep during the night due to stress.
Stress and sleep definitely do not go together. Everyone knows that sleep is required for optimal health and overall well being. It’s beneficial for healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels, as well as regulating hormone levels. Nevertheless, around 48% of workers report having sleepless nights due to work-related stress, according to stress statistics from 2019.
Gender and Stress
Even though everyone experiences stress to a certain degree, men and women react to stress in different ways. Some findings have shown that women do a better job at handling stress—as well as reporting the physical and emotional symptoms of stress—than their male counterparts. Here are some of the most important statistics dealing with gender and stress.
21. Women are more likely to report dealing with stress, compared to their male counterparts (28% and 20%, respectively).
An APA survey found that women and men tend to experience stress in different forms. Additionally, it found that men are less likely to report stress-related issues like depression, obesity, and hypertension. Conversely, women visit the doctor more frequently. Furthermore, school stress statistics have shown that girls are more likely than boys to experience feelings of psychological stress and tension.
22. 79% of women report that money is a major source of stress.
In addition, more women than men claim that the economy is another place of concern (around 68% in comparison with 61% of men). When it comes to men, they report work as the main source of their troubles involving stress (76%).
23. 33% of married women experience a great deal of stress compared to 22% of single women.
In the case of stress in America, statistics from 2018 show that married women are more likely to report high levels of stress than single women. Also, an increasing number of women report that their stress levels have been going up over the past five years (around 56% vs. 41% of single women).
24. 49% of women claim to have trouble falling asleep and waking up refreshed due to stress-related issues.
Almost half of women remain awake during the whole night due to stress. Nevertheless, three-quarters of women consider sleep extremely important (75% compared to 58% of men).
25. 31% of women eat in order to manage their stress.
These interesting facts about stress deal with how women and men cope. Also, women report indulging in junk food due to stress more frequently than men (49% vs. 30%).
Statistics and Ways to Deal with Stress
A tiny amount of stress can motivate people to get things done and move ahead in life. However, if stress levels get out of hand, it’s important to find healthy ways to reduce it significantly before it manages to wreak havoc on one’s health. Of course, not everyone knows the healthiest stress management alternatives. Many individuals resort to drinking alcohol, smoking, or even abusing narcotics. Here are some of the most common ways to cope with stress, both positive and negative.
26. A vegan diet may lower levels of stress in the body.
Stress statistics worldwide have shown that switching to a plant-based diet and omitting meat, poultry, and dairy contribute to decreased levels of stress in the human body. The main reason for this lies in the level of antioxidants in plant-based foods. A variety of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A and C have been linked to reduced free-radical damage.
27. 30% of adults who exercise regularly report feeling less stressed.
One of the most beneficial ways to cope with stress is through daily exercise. Exercise is crucial for maintaining optimal health and an elevated mood all year round. However, today’s society relies more on a sedentary lifestyle and fast food for enjoyment, rather than going for a brisk walk or taking a trip to the local gym. Exercise and stress facts have displayed some truly shocking results. The “Stress in America” survey found that only 17% of adults report exercising daily. Nevertheless, those who do exercise claim they feel happier and less stressed out.
28. Around 60% of adults drink alcoholic beverages as a way to escape stressful life events.
A 2018 study by Drinkaware investigated the drinking habits of individuals living in the UK aged anywhere between 18 and 75. The teenage stress facts derived from it show that there’s been an increase in young individuals resorting to alcohol as a means of escaping reality. Since alcohol is officially considered a depressant, it may deal with stress in the short-term, but otherwise, it contributes to depression and anxiety.
29. 85% of people who practice yoga daily report feeling less stressed.
Yoga is all about connecting the body and the mind and becoming one with the universe. Individuals who have trouble managing stress levels and balance the connection between the body and the mind are highly advised to try out any variety of yoga. A national survey on stress stats and yoga found that 85% of those who practice yoga feel reduced stress levels.
We know that stress is everywhere around us, and it affects people all around the world no matter their age, gender, or race. Most importantly, one must identify the causes of stress in everyday life and find appropriate solutions and strategies that help minimize it. For example, consider avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, as these are stimulants that may increase the level of stress. Besides, stress statistics encourage relaxation techniques like practicing gratitude and mindfulness. If all else fails, it’s best to turn to a loved one for help or consult a professional for further guidance.
- American Institute of Stress
- American Institute of Stress
- Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
- Health Advocate
- Study Finds
- Study Finds
- Journal of Aging Research
- Oxford Academic
- Hopkins Medicine
- Journal of Accountancy
- Study Finds
- Mental Health Foundation
- Everest College
- Benefits Magazine
- Psychology Today