Stress in the UK - statistics & facts

In the modern world, stress may seem an increasingly typical part of day-to-day life, although when it spirals out of control and affects a person on a long-term basis, this can lead to a range of serious health conditions. The most common types of stress in the United Kingdom are work-related, confirmed by almost four-fifths of survey respondents in 2020. Furthermore, financial stress often follows the majority of the British population. There is a pronounced generational split in the experiences of stress in the UK. Younger generations, Generation Z in particular, reported often feeling stressed a lot more than baby boomers.

Work-related stress and its causes

2019 saw an increase in stress-related absences compared to 208 in a survey of UK organizations. It was also found that the most common cause of stress at work for both genders were work-related politics, for 38 percent of women and 35 percent of men. Furthermore, pressure on their own performance at work caused stress for around 30 percent of both men and women. The department with the highest reported levels of stress in the UK was customer services, possibly due to high exposure to customers who may be angry and stressed themselves. Additional pressured work environments were senior management positions and sales departments.

Risk factors of stress

It is estimated that stress-related illnesses account for over 14.7 billion U.S. dollars of healthcare expenditure per year in the UK. The majority of that money is taken up through inpatient admissions as a result of stress-related conditions, which cost the UK healthcare sector almost ten billion U.S dollars. In terms of numbers, over 5.5 million inpatient admissions were the result of stress-related conditions, while almost 68.9 million GP appointments were made due to stress. The most common physical symptom to manifest from stress-related illness in the UK was chest pain, which was responsible for over 943 thousand hospital admissions. Other conditions that accounted for a large number of admissions has to do with circulatory issues, female health and gastrointestinal problems.

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