Stressed Chicago

Work, job stability top stressors this year

By BJ Lutz
|  Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009  |  Updated 8:03 PM CDT
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More Chicago residents say they're more stressed about work and job stability than money or economic issues, according to the results of an annual survey released by the American Psychological Association.

Those who cited work as a significant cause of stress grew from 66 percent in 2008 to 72 percent this year, and those reporting job stability concerns increased from 42 percent last year to 52 percent this year. Personal health concerns and personal safety came in at the bottom of the list of stressors.

At the same time, Chicagoans may be learning how to better handle their stress.

The survey found that more Chicago residents report exercising, walking or reading rather than drinking, eating, shopping or smoking to manage stress.

Job satisfaction declined from last year. Just two-thirds of employed Chicagoans agreed with the statement, "All in all, I am satisfied with my job" this year compared to 74 percent last year, but fewer said they were likely to seek a different place of employment.

"The good news for the region is that fewer people this year are reporting money, family responsibilities, and relationships, among other things, as significant stressors. But with nearly half of us still so stressed -- that's alarming," said psychologist Dr. Nancy Molitor, the public education coordinator for the Illinois Psychological Association. "When stress is ignored or managed in unhealthy ways, it will most likely lead to further health problems. This is why it's crucial for people to pay attention to their stress levels and take action."

The Illinois Psychological Association has the full report posted on their Web site.

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