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Feeling Stressed, LA? Study Shows LA is Most Stressed in US

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Photo by Plankton 4:20 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr


Photo by Plankton 4:20 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
The American Psychological Association's just-completed "Stress in America" study finds that Los Angeles residents are the most stressed residents in the entire country. Not New Yorkers. Not Chicagoans. Not Bostonians. Despite our temperate climate (no long dark winters here), Angelenos report that our stress about money and the economy is higher than the national average at a time when our job satisfaction and physical health is lower than the national average. These jumps and dips along the "national average" curve equal one big pot of unhappiness.

How stressed are we?

-29% of LA residents report having a great deal of stress, national average is 24%
-76% of LA residents attribute their stress to money, compared to 67% last year
-39% of LA residents are stressed out at work, compared to 29% last year
-75% of LA residents cite the economy as a source of stress, national average is 65%
-31% of LA residents say they are in good health, national average is 40%
-45% of LA residents admit to being irritable in the past month
-38% of LA residents admit to being anxious or nervous in the past month
-36% of LA residents admit to being fatigued due to stress in the past month
-No official stats on traffic stress were included, but...come on

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So what's a stressed out city to do? The APA report finds that our biggest challenges in Los Angeles are getting enough sleep and finding ways to manage stress so that we don't slide further into stressful habits that make us prone to becoming overweight or obese. Maybe the plethora of yoga studios, gyms, Runyon Canyon runners and midnight riding riders have a point.

The most alarming/not-surprising-at-all finding of a stress study on Angelenos: "When asked to what degree pressure to look good impacts their stress level, nearly one-third (30 percent) of LA residents said that the pressure to look good impacts their stress levels moderately or 'a lot.'" Well, when you consider we're not so smart and rather mean, it makes sense we'd place such importance on how we look.

Oh, LA. Sounds like it's time for a great big mellowing out. Get thee to a yoga mat, get thee on your bicycle, get thee outdoors and among nature and get thee away from mirrors and judge-y friends. The economy is going to do what the economy is going to do. We've got to take care of our own and get those numbers shipshape for the 2011 survey.