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More than 79 percent of U.S. adults say they routinely experience some form of stress, according to a Gallup poll, with 44 percent feeling frequently stressed and 35 percent saying they sometimes encounter stress in their lives.
The study, which polled more than 1,000 adults age 18 or older, also found that 41 percent of Americans believe that they lack enough time to get what they want done. The majority, 59 percent, however, do believe they have enough time.
“Fewer Americans today than from 2001 through 2007 say they lack sufficient time to get done what they want, although the 44% saying this in 2004 was statistically similar to today’s 41%,” Gallup reported.
Working parents tend to feel the highest levels of stress. Approximately 58 percent of those with at least one child felt they did not have enough time and 59 percent experienced stress, while 50 percent of those without children felt crushed for time and 47 percent experienced stress.
In addition, Gallup found that age contributed to stress levels. Those 50 and older, especially after age 65, were less likely to say they were stressed or did not have enough time to get things done.
“Relatedly, being short on time and feeling stressed are much more common experiences among employed Americans and parents of children under 18 than among adults without these significant obligations in their lives,” Gallup stated.
While the level of stress Americans feel has increased slightly, their “current stress level is similar to what Gallup found in 2001, 2002 and 2007, as well as in an earlier measurement in 1994, when 40% felt frequent stress. However, more say they experience stress now than reported this from 2003 through 2006, when between 33% and 38% felt this way.”
Gallup claimed technology could play a role in the amount of stress people feel they have.
“Much has changed in the past decade, not the least of which is the proliferation of smartphones, beginning with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007,” the organization stated. “This technology may be providing some efficiencies in people’s lives, such as allowing them to shop more easily from home, do their banking online, keep tabs on work while out of the office, follow the news, and much, much more—thus enabling them to feel they are getting more done. Yet there has not been an obvious payoff in reduced stress. It’s possible that some aspects of the new technology, like social media, are offsetting others in changing how much stress people experience.
“Of course, many other aspects of life could factor into how Americans feel about their time and stress, including their jobs, family structure, dining habits, the economy and today’s highly polarized political environment. From that perspective, despite some revolutionary and not-so-revolutionary changes in the past decade, people’s time management and stress haven’t changed too much.”