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33% turn to comfort food to tackle work stress

Workplace stress piles on the pounds for employees

Whilst achieving a good work life balance is a goal for many Brits, new research from marketing intelligence agency Mintel reveals that Britain’s workforce is turning to unhealthy comfort food and drink habits to combat workplace stress.

Eating comfort food is the number one thing working Brits have done to tackle work stress in the past 12 months, with 33% of workers saying they’ve done this, followed by 30% who have turned to alcohol and one in seven (15%) who have smoked or vaped to help cope with the pressure.

But away from these vices, three in 10 (29%) British workers have opted for a healthier approach – relieving stress through exercising. What’s more, taking the view that a problem shared is a problem halved, some 30% of workers have spoken to a friend, partner, or colleague, while 7% have sought the professional help of a counsellor or medical professional to help deal with stress.

Mintel research shows dealing with stress varies according to the age of workers. While 16-24s are the most likely to turn to exercise to help relieve stress with half doing so, those aged 35-44 are the most likely to comfort eat (39%). Meanwhile, workers aged 25-34 are most likely to drink alcohol (35%).

Overall, just three in 10 (30%) Brits say they have not been stressed at work in the last 12 months. But it seems the answer to the nation’s stress issues could lie with being self-employed. Indeed, self-employed workers and those working outside report considerably lower stress levels, especially when compared with people working full-time and those in offices.

With pressure piling on, it seems Brits are a nation of workaholics, as today, almost three in 10 admit that their career always comes first, while just 49% agree that having a good work-life balance is more important than how much money they make.