Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Most Stressful Places to Live

Martinsburg, West Virginia (USA) Historic District
Martinsburg, West Virginia Historic District (Wikipedia)
by , The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/04/the-most-stressful-places-to-live/275223/

41 percent of U.S. adults "feel stressed a lot of the day." Stats in some states are much worse than others.

West Virginia: Wild, wonderful - and worrisome. That's according to a new survey out today. Really though, this is interesting and sad.

Gallup surveyed 353,564 people across the U.S. over the course of 2012.

Gallup is a tireless polling behemoth. They asked, "Did you feel stressed during a lot of the day yesterday?"

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 10.57.05 AM.pngHere are the states where people most frequently said yes, and the percentage that did:

West Virginia, Kentucky, and Utah have been among the top five for each of the last five years. What's going on?

The survey took place well before the stressful story last week in which West Virginian eighth-grade student Jared Marcum "sparked a dispute" with a Logan Middle School teacher "that ended with Jared suspended, arrested and facing two charges, obstruction and disturbing the education process."

The school stood by the story without mention of the shirt, saying Marcum was kicked out because he was "obstructing the education process." This is America, though, and people should be allowed to wear whatever they want when they obstruct the education process.
 
But again, that was last week, so Marcum's story is at most symptomatic of West Virginia's 2012 unease.
 
The state is also constantly among the states with the highest rates of obesity (currently 31.1 percent) which is also not necessarily related. It's a beautiful state, though, with a lot of trees, which we know make us healthier and more satisfied.
 
Still, people in West Virginia are about 50 percent more likely to be stressed than people in Hawaii, which has been the least-stressed state for each of the last five years. This year's bottom five:

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 10.56.53 AM.png

The same survey looked at people's level of "enjoyment." On average across 2012, "84.9 percent of Americans reported feeling enjoyment 'yesterday.'"
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