Women living in the tri-state area are more stressed out than their counterparts anywhere else in the country, according to a recent study conducted by an New York City healthcare network.
Northwell and Katz Institute for Women's Health partnered with NRC Health on a stress survey, studying 1,876 women in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, and 1,100 men and women nationally.
Northwell and NRC Health found that women in the tri-state area were stressed by four main factors: Work-life balance, personal health and wellness, household income and family members’ health.
The study showed that 43 percent of tri-state women were stressed by work-life balance, as opposed to 38 percent of women nationally and 41 percent of men nationally. 41 percent of tri-state women were stressed by personal health, as opposed to 39 percent of women nationally and 33 percent of of men nationally.
The study also concluded that 38 percent of tri-state women vs. 34 percent of women nationally and 31% of men nationally were stressed by the health and wellness of their children.
Interestingly, the study showed a key difference between levels of stress, in which 41 percent of tri-state women were stressed about the health of their parents, while 37 percent said they were highly stressed about the matter.
Nationally, 38 percent of women said they were stressed about their parents, with 23 percent saying they were highly stressed. 32 percent of men reported similar stress, with just 15 percent responding they were highly stressed.
The study perceived changes in respondent’s physical, mental and emotional health status, as well as eating and exercise habits.
From work-related stress, to children’s and parent’s health and funding healthcare, women face a variety of obstacles that all have the ability to induce physical and emotional stress. As caregivers, many find it hard to ask for help.
“We think we should be superwoman and handle everything ourselves. We face it all with stoic acceptance, but we shouldn’t,” said Dr. Jennifer H. Mieres, professor of cardiology and senior vice president of Northwell’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Health Eequity.
According to the study, chronic stress can not only have emotional impacts on women, but physical ones too. While respondents to the survey mostly claimed to watch television or movies to unwind, doctors say that exercises such as yoga and tai-chi are key to reducing stress.
“Don’t stress yourself out trying to eliminate stress. Focus on healthy coping. When you take beter care of yourself, you will be better able to take care of everyone else,” said Dr. Rachel Bond of Lenox Hill Hospital.