NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Despite the plethora of outdoor activities and untouched nature that Utah offers its residents, a recent Gallup study found that they were the most likely to say they were stressed. Predictably, Hawaiians came in with the lowest stress levels.
On the whole, 39.4% of Americans reported they were stressed in the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index, a study based on more than 350,000 interviews conducted in 2010. Well-being was based on how peopled rated their present and future lives on a zero to 10 scale, with the highest number signifying the highest level of contentment.
Utah ranked as the most stressed, with 45.1% of residents rating themselves low on the well-being scale, edging out Kentucky residents, 44.9% of whom reported being stressed. This marks the third year that Utah and Kentucky have held the top spots in the report.
Researchers attribute the findings to a variety of factors, including income, physical health conditions, family and career situations, and optimism about their lives.
“That finances and health aren't the only determinants of Americans' stress levels reveals that earning more money or being in great physical shape doesn't necessarily protect against all of life's stressors,” the report found. “That stress levels did not increase much during the recession provides additional evidence that Americans' definition of stress goes beyond economic experiences.”
On the other end of the stress spectrum, Hawaii residents were the least likely to say they were stressed for the third year in a row, with 30.2% of survey respondents from the Aloha state responding that way. Following Hawaii, the least stressed states include Wyoming at 34.4%, North Dakota and South Dakota at around 34%.