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Rising Stress Levels in the UK and the Impact on Workers (2023 Facts and Statistics)

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Article Index:

A recent study conducted by First Mats has highlighted the growing issue of stress among the UK population. Our survey of over 1,000 UK adults found that more than a quarter of respondents experience stress every day, with another quarter feeling frequently stressed (once or twice per week).

The study identified the cost of living crisis and the financial concerns it creates as the main source of stress for nearly half of the respondents. Interestingly, only 8.77% of those surveyed cited job security as a cause of stress, suggesting that the primary concern is not job loss, but rather the increasing cost of fuel, food, and energy.

Approximately 20% of participants reported that their stress levels had worsened recently, reflecting a trend observed across the UK. Marketing Director Richard noted that while workplace accidents and injuries have generally declined over the past 20 years, stress rates have continued to rise. Data from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) supports this observation, showing that stress, depression, and anxiety now account for 51% of all work-related ill health cases and 55% of all working days lost.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also reported a similar trend. According to their latest data, the percentage of people exhibiting multiple signs of stress has increased from 18.9% a decade ago to 23.65% in 2020/21. The ONS report found that individuals aged 16-34 and females were more likely to show signs of stress, depression, or anxiety.

The HSE's annual statistics have shed light on the occupations most affected by stress, which are:

  • Public Administration
  • NHS, Healthcare and Social Workers
  • Teachers and Education professionals

In contrast, those in manual jobs such as construction, transportation, manufacturing, and warehousing report lower stress levels.

Chronic stress can have serious implications on both individual well-being and overall workplace productivity. It is crucial for employers to recognize the importance of stress management and provide support and resources to help their employees cope. Mental health charities such as MIND, Mental Health Foundation, and the NHS offer advice and techniques for managing stress effectively, which can benefit both workers and organizations in the long run.

Article Data:

First Mats Survey and HSE Data

Survey Responses and HSE Dataset - Google Sheets Dataset Link

HSE Data Summary:

HSE Report on stress in the workplace - https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf

ONS Data:

Percentage of people showing some evidence indicating depression or anxiety

Year Score of 4 or more % Sample size
Jan 2010 to Dec 2011 18.92 43,420
Jan 2011 to Dec 2012 18.76 40,580
Jan 2012 to Dec 2013 18.30 38,780
Jan 2013 to Dec 2014 19.72 37,130
Jan 2014 to Dec 2015 17.35 39,480
Jan 2015 to Dec 2016 17.82 37,450
Jan 2016 to Dec 2017 19.10 35,940
Jan 2017 to Dec 2018 19.67 33,260
Jan 2018 to Dec 2019 19.81 31,900
Jan 2019 to Dec 2020 21.79 30,340
Jan 2020 to Dec 2021 23.65 28,200

Source: - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/datasets/measuringnationalwellbeingdomainsandmeasures




Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

Contact Richard