New research on stress shows that more than a fifth (21%) of UK workers regularly think about quitting their job and almost 30% find their work life stressful.
The study of more than 1,000 UK employees conducted by OPP also asked respondents to rate their preferred forms of stress relief, with watching films or TV (66%) and surfing the internet (49%) coming out on top, well ahead of talking to friends or family (40%).
Drinking alcohol comes level with taking a hot bath on the list of most effective stress relievers (both 31%). The research also shows significant gender differences in methods of stress release with females much more likely to choose eating (41%) and talking to friends (48%) than males (29% and 31% respectively).
When asked to select the most stress-inducing activities from a list of common scenarios, the research shows that females find meeting new people, socialising, being at work, making big decisions and driving far more stressful than males. In fact, the figures show that apart from shopping, women find all of the activities they were given to choose from more stressful to deal with than men.
Overall, the research shows that the situations which raise Britons' stress levels the most are public speaking (51%), making big decisions (34%), looking at the bank balance (28%), Christmas (27%) and travelling on public transport (21%).
Public speaking is more of a stressor for those in junior to mid-level job roles whereas travelling by public transport is far more likely to raise the stress levels of those in leadership positions compared to their junior colleagues.
Paul Deakin, senior consultant at OPP says, "Stress is a natural reaction to situations where we feel we are not in control, but unfortunately the conflicting pressures of modern life mean most of us are faced with these situations on a daily basis. However, experiencing some level of stress can actually be good for us, providing the motivation and adrenaline that keeps us going, giving us a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
"We each have a personal stress 'curve' and different levels of tolerance for particular stressors. If we learn how to reach the optimum point in that curve we are able to perform and function better in our work and personal lives."