• Generation stress: 4 in 5 Brits could be suffering burnout as a result of stress, AXA research reveals

    November 13th 2017. Posted in Health

    Britain is in the grip of a stress epidemic, with 82% of Britons feeling stressed at least some of the time during a typical week, new research from AXA has revealed. Meanwhile, almost a tenth of us (8%) feel stressed all of the time.


    • 82% of Britons feel stressed at least some of the time during a typical week and almost one in ten feels stressed all the time 
    • Research reveals Cardiff is the most stressed city in the UK
    • Brighton is the least stressed city in the UK


    Britain is in the grip of a stress epidemic, with 82% of Britons feeling stressed at least some of the time during a typical week, new research from AXA has revealed. Meanwhile, almost a tenth of us (8%) feel stressed all of the time.

    The findings, which forms part of AXA’s Stress Index, based on a survey of 4,000 UK adults, also reveals that pressure at work, financial worries and concerns about health are the most common causes of stress. Stress, at its most severe, can cause serious burnout and can be debilitating, with people feeling powerless and finding it difficult to manage their problems.

    According to the Index, stress in the workplace is strongly linked to the ‘always on’ culture, with almost three in every five Brits (59%) admitting to taking calls outside of working hours, while more than half (55%) check their emails.

    Health concerns are dominated by worries about waistlines, with 68% worried about their own weight and 39% worried about the weight of their partners. Concerns about salary prospects (72%) and worries about paying household bills (60%) are the major sources of stress for Brits.

    AXA’s research suggests that there is a notable gender divide when it comes to stress. Whilst women are most stressed about their personal finances (43%) and the health of their family and friends (41%), men are, by some distance, most stressed about work (41%), followed by their personal financial situation (32%).

    In terms of regional differences, Cardiff emerges as the UK’s most stressed city, with 86% of residents suggesting they feel stressed at least some of the time during a typical week and 13% admitting to feeling constantly stressed, followed by Belfast and Sheffield (both 86% and 7% respectively).

    To relieve their stress, the majority of Brits (51%) watch TV, while 42% listen to music and 39% read a book. A further 28% drink alcohol to help combat stress, while more than one in ten (11%) smoke. A third of Brits exercise to relieve stress.

    “These findings illustrate the worrying scale of the UK’s stress epidemic, occurring both in the workplace and at home, impacting people up and down the country. As well as work and finances, health seems to be a concern for a large number of Brits. People are not only worried about their own wellbeing but also the general health of their loved ones.

    “It is encouraging to see a third of people exercising as a way to combat their stress, which is obviously a much healthier way of unwinding than smoking or drinking. Physical activity is proven to have a positive impact on mental health, even if it is just a walk around the block instead of a trip to the gym.”

    “My hope is that those who took the time to answer our survey are busy, challenged and sometimes feel harassed, and are experiencing the impact of excessive pressure, rather than actually being stressed. I would urge anyone who is feeling unable to cope to speak to a specialist to ease the burden.” [Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services. AXA PPP]

    Most stressed cities

    CityPercentage of residents stressed at least some of the timePercentage of residents stressed all the time

    Least stressed cities

    CityPercentage of residents never stressed

    Tips for beating stress

    1. Rest, sleep and eat well

    Stress can be combatted by making sure you’re awake and alert. Sleep well, take the time to unwind and make sure you eat properly and healthily.

    2. Exercise is vital

    Exercise helps reduce stress by releasing endorphins to your brain, and also helps you sleep. Even if you can’t get to the gym, a walk around the block will help.

    3. Put your devices away before bedtime

    The inability to switch off from your mobiles, tablets and laptops can seriously affect your sleep. Putting your devices away before you go to bed can help cut your stress levels.

    4. Watching TV is good in the right doses

    Many people find watching TV relaxing and use it as a way to combat stress. However, too much TV can mess with your body clock, especially if you are watching late into the evening, so moderation is key.

    5. Seek help from a specialist

    There is a difference between being stressed and being busy. Stress can cause serious burn out and can be debilitating. If you are struggling to function, speak to a specialist.


    Research for the study was carried out by One Poll. 4000 UK adults were surveyed between 28th July and 8th August 2017

    Media Contacts 
    Legal Notes 


    The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 165,000 employees serving 107 million clients in 64 countries. In 2016, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 100.2 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.7 billion. AXA had Euro 1,429 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016. In 2016 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 8th consecutive year.

    In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Insurance, AXA PPP healthcare and AXA Ireland. AXA employees around 10,000 staff in the UK.

    The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.

    The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.

    It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. 


    Corporate Responsibility strategy:


    SRI ratings: