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The Leading Major Causes of Stress

Money and self-pressure are the leading major causes of stress internationally.

The Luxonomist. 01/12/2015

With the pressure of Christmas shopping already underway, GfK has released findings from a 22-country survey looking at the major causes of stress in people’s daily lives. Money, self-pressure and lack of sleep are the top three major causes of stress internationally. Latin American countries stand out for ‘threat of crime‘ appearing in their top five major causes of stress, while France is the only country where ‘children’ appear in the top five. Japan and Germany are most free of major stress causes. 

Stress 22
Self-pressure.

The online study, which was conducted this summer, asked over 27,000 consumers to identify major causes of stress from a given list. Overall, almost three in ten (29 percent) people cite the amount of money that they have to live on, making this the leading major cause of stress internationally. This is followed by the pressure that people put upon themselves (27 percent), not getting enough sleep (23 percent) and not having time for the things they want to (22 percent). The amount of work people have to get done in the day (cited by 19 percent) comes next, completing the top five most common major causes of stress internationally.

Stress 3
Lack of sleep.

The good news is that, overall, three in ten people (30 percent) are relatively stress-free, saying none of the list count as a major cause of stress for them (although many rate them as minor causes of stress). This is led by Japan, where nearly a half of respondents (48 percent) say none of the items listed are a major cause of stress, followed by Germany at 44 percent and then the Netherlands and Hong Kong level at 37 percent. The other end of the scale is held by Turkey, where only one in ten (10 percent) make this claim, followed by Argentina (12 percent) and Mexico (13 percent).

Stress 44
Three in ten people are relatively stress-free, led by Japan.

When looking at different age groups, people aged between 15 and 39 register the same five factors as their leading major causes of stress – although the order differs for each age group. From 40 years old, people increasingly perceive the amount of work they have to do in the day as less of a major stress factor, and worries about health appear in their top five major causes of stress instead.

Stress 5
From 40 years old, worries about health appear in their top five major causes of stress.

For those aged 50 and over, taking care of a family member who is ill, elderly, or has other needs or problems appears for the first time in their top five major causes of stress. And people over 60 stop seeing the pressure they put on themselves as a top five stress factor anymore, and this is overtaken (but only by a small margin) by worry over threats from the outside world, such as natural disasters or terrorism.

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