London stress levels have soared since lockdown easing, study shows

·2-min read
Office workers (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)
Office workers (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

Around 7 in 10 Londoners feel overloaded with stress, research shows.

Researchers at Censuswide surveyed 2,007 adults in the capital with two thirds (66 per cent) reporting higher stress levels since lockdown restrictions eased.

Meanwhile, 42 per cent of people are struggling to keep on top of their to-do lists as more firms scrap work from home mandates and call staff back to the office.

Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of Londoners are showing signs of unhealthy perfectionism, according to the study.

Gen Z reported the highest levels of this (89 per cent), closely followed by millennials (84 per cent) and Gen X (74 per cent).

Meanwhile 36 per cent of Londoners now dread the day ahead ‘most nights of the week’.

Experts claim that Londoners are feeling more stressed due to an “underlying feeling of productive anxiety” as they go back to their old routines.

Joshua Fletcher, a psychotherapist, said: “As restrictions have eased there is a sense of optimism and excitement for the upcoming festivities and getting back to old routines.

“However, there is clearly an underlying anxiety rooted in productivity weighing in the background for many of us”.

The research was commissioned by Microsoft Surface who says it is determined to help people navigate their way out of the so-called “productivity trap”.

Kate Wright, Microsoft UK and Ireland Consumer Devices Director, said: “The research shows that there’s a vital need for us to kick start a conversation about the productivity trap, what it is and how we can help people navigate through it.

“Technology can play an important role here – it can be used to reconfigure new routines, set new boundaries and truly support productivity.”

Previous studies have revealed Westminster to be the most stressed borough in the capital.

Research in 2008 tracked 24,000 social media posts with mentions of the words “stress”, “stressed”, “anxiety”, and “anxious” in status updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It found over half of these - 12,808 - were posted in Westminster.

The “trendy” boroughs of Hackney and Camden had the second and third highest mentions of stress and anxiety, though at 874 and 868, they were much lower than Westminster.

Barking and Dagenham came out as the least stressed borough: a mere 34 mentions put it in 33rd place.

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