Texas is the 9th most stressed state in the union, according to a new study, partly due to Texans working 40 hours per week on average.
“Seeing that this is the largest amount of time in the country, it definitely contributes to a high level of stress,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub.
The WalletHub 2022’s Most & Least Stressed States study found that the Lone Star State has the longest work week combined with a small amount of leisure time spent per day.
“The main downside of being stressed is that it can lead to several health problems such as high blood pressure or digestive trouble, among others,” Gonzalez told The Dallas Express. “It can also trigger exhaustion, sleep difficulties or headaches and overall lower your quality of life. It’s important to minimize stress in order to avoid the problems listed above.”
The upside appears to be financial security.
“Money-related stress is where Texas ranks lowest, which means the stress level caused by finances is very low. This is because Texans have high job security and median income as well as a low personal bankruptcy rate,” Gonzalez explained in an interview.
Texans are not fully immune to financial troubles, however — among the study’s findings is that Texas residents have the fifth-lowest median credit score in the U.S. at 675.
“This is considered a fair credit score, but it still is a significant cause of money-related stress,” said Gonzalez. “This is because it can prevent people from qualifying for certain credit cards, or it can cause them to get loans at a higher interest rate.”
The study further found that health-related stress for Texans is caused by the unaffordability of doctor visits, the share of parents frustrated in efforts to get health services for their child, and the low share of insured people.
“In general, the most prominent source of stress in the past couple of years has been the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gonzalez said.
Texas also has the 23rd smallest number of psychologists per capita, according to the data.
“We considered that states with fewer psychologists have higher levels of stress,” Gonzalez added. “Having a psychologist to turn to can help people deal with their problems and lower their stress levels.”
In comparison, Utah is the least stressed, at No.50.
“It has the shortest work week, high job security, and the second-lowest unemployment rate,” Gonzalez explained. “The state’s residents also have a high median income, strong confidence in the economy, and don’t live in poverty. Utah’s low separation and divorce rate, a small share of single parents, low childcare costs, and a small percentage of parents without emotional support are other factors that make the state the least stressed.”
Texas, in contrast to Utah, has a higher share of single parents and parents without emotional support, at approximately 19% and 29%, respectively, according to the data.
“To reduce their level of stress, Texans should be aware and focus on the things that make them happy,” shared Gonzalez. “They should also know what their stress factors are so that they can keep them at their lowest.”