Fun With Stress

by Liz Colville

If you need to relax, get the hell out of Detroit — new research says it’s the most stressed out city in the country. At the very least, don’t live in the house pictured, unless you are an experienced squatter. Ideally, move to the “mellowest” city in the country, Salt Lake City, or try Nashville, San Francisco or Buffalo (?!?). Another kind of ridiculous indicator of stress, from a Daily Beast roundup of new research:

Firefighters are more than five times as stressed as librarians, janitors, and piano tuners.

Including piano tuners in there is an insult to firefighters! Piano movers, maybe. That sounds like a nightmare — did you read the “Hunt” column about the piano a couple of weeks back?

CareerCast’s research on jobs looked at factors including “workplace hazards, machines and tools used, number and severity of quotas and deadlines, and relative degrees of precision, speed, stamina, confinement, competitiveness, visibility, heavy lifting, and risk of death,” all of which makes me wish we’d all go off the grid, but particularly “confinement,” because “risk of death” really could be fun if you look at it a certain way.

Fabulous, the next study Daily Beast cites says women “are 8 percent more stressed than men.” Fittingly, my first reaction to this isn’t “why are we so stressed?” but “why aren’t men more so?”

Based on the rest of the very diverse collection of studies, it sounds like you are the worst off if you are a Gen X married woman with red hair and dental appointments living in Detroit with a baby who rides in a stroller facing away from you. If you are also at the same time a “business leader” living in China and an overweight child, I’m terribly sorry.

Photo of Detroit by Jengod via Wikipedia