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Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

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Americans Pressed for Time but Fewer Stressed

Half of Americans Don't Have Enough Time, a Third Are Stressed Out

WebMD Health News

May 5, 2004 -- Nearly half of Americans feel they just don't have enough time in the day to do what they want in their lives, according to a new Gallup poll.

But researchers say the results show that despite feeling pressed for time, fewer Americans say they're stressed out on a daily basis. The poll showed the percentage of Americans who said they frequently experience stress in their daily lives dropped from 41% in 2002 to 33% in 2003.

Although no clear factor appears responsible for the decline in stress levels, researchers say the drop may be related to an improved perception of how well the nation's economy is doing. Previous polls have shown that personal stress is commonly linked with one's perception of the nation's economic well-being.

Americans Want More Time

The poll suggests work demands and children appear to be the major contributors to time and stress issues among Americans.

For example, the poll showed 62% of employed Americans feel they have too little time compared with only 27% of non-employed adults. Nearly two-thirds of adults with children under 18 also said they felt pressed for time compared with 41% of those with no children.

In addition, adults under age 64 were much more pressed for time than those 65 and over, who are more likely to be retired and less likely to have small children in the home.

Researchers found having children and being employed were equally related to stress.

Overall, women tended to be more stressed than men, with 38% reporting that they experience stress frequently in their daily lives compared with 28% of men. But researchers found full-time employment was more likely to contribute to high stress levels among women than having a child under 18.

The poll was based on telephone interviews with a national sample of 1,011 adults and conducted Dec. 11-13, 2003, by the Gallup Organization. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3%.

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