Who’s Most Stressed? More Often Than Not… Young People

New research sheds light on important health concern during Stress Awareness Month

April 30, 2018 — CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Unum (NYSE: UNM), a leading provider of employee benefits, finds younger workers experience stress more frequently than their older peers and is shedding light on the negative health effects of stress during Stress Awareness Month.

Key findings from a survey commissioned by Unum in January 2018 among 1,232 U.S. adults include:

Thirty-nine percent of workers ages 18-34 experience stress daily to several times a week.

Older Baby Boomers are the least stressed, with 79 percent of workers age 65 and older experiencing stress infrequently or never.

Working women of all ages report more frequent exposure to stress than working men, with 54 percent of women feeling stress daily to weekly compared to 47 percent of men.

Money, Family & Relationships

The top causes of stress among all age groups include financial stress (49 percent), home life and family relationships (43 percent), personal health (35 percent), job responsibilities (33 percent), and the health of family members (33 percent).
“Stress impacts worker productivity and can escalate over time to more serious health concerns and absences,” said Greg Breter, senior vice president of Benefits at Unum. “While stress may not be reported as the primary cause of absence, it’s often the underlying issue that caused or exacerbated another health condition and slowed down recovery.”

Although most stress originates outside of the workplace, it’s in an employer’s best interest to provide resources that proactively support employees in managing their stress before it escalates and impacts their job. The American Institute of Stress estimates stress costs the U.S. economy over $300 billion annually in absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, lower productivity, accidents and medical costs.

younger workers experience #stress more frequently, which can have serious consequences on a person's health and a business's bottom line

Stress has physical, behavioral and cognitive side effects. While it can manifest differently from person to person, common signs include a significant change in quality of work, professional demeanor or personality.

The body’s short-term responses to stress include:

Increased heart rate and blood pressure

Tense muscles, nausea or dry mouth

Avoidance behavior, lack of participation in group activities

Reduced reasoning, difficulty making decisions

Increased ‘fight or flight’ response, unhelpful or ‘black-or-white’ thinking

Working longer hours or often late

The long-term responses include:

  • Loss of memory, concentration or confidence
  • Irritation and anger
  • Causing or aggravating of mental health conditions
  • Increased risk of chronic high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack
  • Tight chest, panic attacks or fainting
  • Headaches and back, neck or shoulder problems
  • Increased glucose in blood leading to blood sugar imbalance or diabetes
  • Loss of energy

For tips on how to manage stress in the workplace, visit here.



About Unum
Unum Group (www.unum.com) is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life, and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, accident and critical illness, dental and vision coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. Unum also provides stop-loss coverage to help self-insured employers protect against unanticipated medical costs. The company reported revenues of $11.3 billion in 2017, and provided $7 billion in benefits.