The primary factor contributing to stress for men is their financial situation, according to a survey by Aviva USA, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic. The survey also shows a strong correlation between high stress levels and dramatic weight gain among U.S. males.
Two out of three men report they are stressed, with financial situation being the top contributing factor for a third of the men surveyed.
Family/relationships are a distant second-leading factor. In addition to the linkage between stress and finances, 45 percent of men also reported gaining weight over the past 10 years. Only 19 percent of men reported losing weight during the same time period.
It is easy to believe that the men in the survey weren’t completely accurate in their assessments. Four out of five men consider themselves to be in good to excellent health, despite nearly half of them having gained weight over the past 10 years and two out of three saying they feel stressed.
“Studies have found that, on average, men tend to push off doctor visits longer than women, often avoiding going to the doctor until a major health problem arises,” said Dr. Philip Hagen, medical director of Mayo Clinic Embody Health and vice chair of the Division of Preventive and Occupational Medicine at Mayo Clinic. “In this survey, we’re seeing some of these same avoidance tendencies among male respondents. Men overall described themselves as being in good health, while at the same time reporting health risk factors, such as weight gain and high levels of stress.”
The correlation between weight and stress is pronounced. Specifically, men who indicate a large decrease in weight tend to be less affected by stress. However, men who are extremely stressed are more than three times as likely to have a dramatic increase in weight over the last 10 years compared to other male respondents. Moreover, men who are extremely stressed are five times more likely to experience significant weight gain compared to unstressed men.
Aviva USA surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults – men and women – on their health habits and financial preparedness to uncover how these factors impact their overall well-being. The survey was conducted by Ipsos, a leading global survey-based market research company.
Additional key findings related to men are:
• One in four men rarely or never exercises.
• When asked to identify the factor that most contributes to their stress, 34 percent of men said financial situation, 17 percent said family/relationships, 12 percent said job stability, 10 percent said the fast pace of life and 8 percent said their health.
• Sixty-two percent of men who are extremely stressed are also uncomfortable with their financial situation. In contrast, only 21 percent of those who say they are not stressed claim to be uncomfortable with their financial situation.
• Even though men identified financial situation as the biggest factor contributing to stress, half of all men surveyed said they rarely discuss finances with anyone.
• Only three in 10 men are comfortable with their current financial situation, and only about one in 15 are very comfortable.
• Despite the general discomfort with their financial situation, only one in five men currently work with a financial planner or advisor.
To read further posts from our blog on stress check out How to Reduce Stress, What is Mental and Emotional Health?, When to Seek Professional Help, Stress and Weight Loss, and my personal favorite Some Super Tools for Handling Stress.