Stress levels in the UK are rising, with nearly a quarter of British adults feeling stressed on a daily basis, a new study has found.

The poll by the charity the Mental Health Foundation found that 47 per cent of all respondents revealed that they feel stressed every day or every few days, (23 per cent and 24 per cent respectively).

Furthermore, 59 per cent of British adults reported that their life is generally more stressful than it was five years ago, something that is thought to be down to the economic downturn.

Indeed, money (26 per cent) and work-related issues (28 per cent) were given as the main cause of stress for 54 per cent of Britons who have felt stressed over the past five years.

“The impact of current economic problems has put a lot of people under pressure due to the fear, or reality, of unemployment, insecure housing and high levels of debt and these results are not surprising,” commented Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation.

With heightened levels of stress often leading to other serious health problems, the issue could cause absence management problems for businesses.

“Unmanaged, stress can develop into serious mental health problems, such as depression, as well as increasing the risk of physical illness such as heart disease,” added Dr McCulloch.

Employers may find introducing measures to monitor stress levels among staff and offering them access to advice and medical help if they feel they are struggling to cope could prove a useful workforce management approach.

“The results of our survey suggest that too many of us still aren’t making managing stress a priority,” said Dr McCulloch.

“It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.”

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