National Stress Awareness Month, by the Numbers

Americans are stressed. We stress about work, the economy, school, love, weight, Lost, even stress itself. Well, April happens to be National Stress Awareness Month — and Stress Awareness Day is on the 16th. To mark the anxious occasion, here’s a look at our angst in numbers.

National Stress Awareness Month, by the Numbers
Typography by Julie Teninbaum Typography by Julie Teninbaum

ONE-THIRD of American children ages 8 to 17 say they worry about their family’s finances. Two other major sources of childhood stress are HOMEWORK & TEASING.

Kids’ top coping mechanisms: listening to music (44%), eating (26%), and talking to their parents (22%).

STRESS BALLS,RELAXATION TAPES, and other stress-fighting products and services account for $14 BILLION of spending in the U.S. EACH YEAR.

There are two types of stress: DISTRESS, the regular stress that plagues us, and EUSTRESS, a positive form that improves productivity and performance.

THE WORD “STRESS” has been used for hundreds of years — it has roots in the Old French/Middle English word DESTRESSE, meaning “distress,” but it wasn’t used in the psychological sense until the 20th century.

A Wake Forest University study of 42 FEMALE MONKEYS found those suffering from social stress held more ABDOMINAL FAT, a precursor of heart disease.

Globally, more than three out of five doctor visits are STRESS RELATED.
In the U.S. alone, more than $22.8 BILLION is spent on anxiety-related health care each year.


62% of American are stressed about WORK, according to the American Psychological Association.

Eating 1.4 ounces of DARK CHOCOLATE EVERY DAY for two weeks was shown to reduce stress.

(Granted, the 30-person study was done by researchers at Nestlé.)

BRITNEY SPEARS, LINDSAY LOHAN, AND MARIAH CAREY are all reported to have been HOSPITALIZED twice as a result of stress and exhaustion.

Each year, more than 275,000,000 working days are lost in the U.S. because of absenteeism resulting from stress.

IN SWEDEN, mental illness, including stress and anxiety, accounts for 41% of total SICK PAY, up from 15% in 1990.
The nation has one of the world’s most generous sick-leave laws — workers can get up to 75% of their salary for years.

One in four Americans admits to having taken a “mental-health day” to cope with stress. This costs employers $602 per worker per year.

According to a psychological survey done in 1938 and again in 2007, anxiety and mental-health issues are 5 TIMES more common now among high-school and college students than they were toward the end of the GREAT DEPRESSION.

TWO-THIRDS of spoken curse words are a result of stress.
Swearing accounts for 80 of the 15,000 words typically spoken per person per day.