Perceived life stress, 2013

Stress carries several negative health consequences, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, as well as immune and circulatory complications.Note 1 Exposure to stress can also contribute to behaviours such as smoking, over-consumption of alcohol, and less-healthy eating habits.Note 2

In 2013, 23.0% (6.6 million) of Canadians aged 15 and older reported that most days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely stressful’, unchanged from 2012.

Since 2003, females were more likely than males to report that most days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely stressful’. In 2013, the rate for females was 24.6%, while for males the rate was 21.3% (Chart 1).

An impact of high levels of daily stress was a lower rate of life satisfaction. Among those who reported that their days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely stressful’, 82.3% said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with life, compared with 96.2% of those who did not find their days very stressful.

Chart 1

Description for Chart 1

The rate of daily stress was higher for females than males in all age groups except for those in the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 age groups. In particular, 23.0% of females aged 15 to 19 reported stress in their daily lives, compared with 11.7% of males in that age group (Chart 2).

Daily stress rates were highest in the core working ages (35 to 54), peaking at about 30% in the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 age groups. People in these age groups are most likely to be managing multiple responsibilities with their career and family. Reported stress decreased at older ages, with seniors the least likely to find their days stressful (11.8%).

Chart 2

Description for Chart 2

The proportion of residents who reported that their days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely’ stressful was lower than the national average (23.0%) in:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador (15.2%)
  • Prince Edward Island (17.9%)
  • Nova Scotia (19.7%)
  • New Brunswick (20.1%)
  • Manitoba (20.1%)
  • Saskatchewan (19.6%)
  • Alberta (21.1%)
  • Northwest Territories (16.7%)Note 3
  • Nunavut (15.6%) Note 3

The proportion of residents who reported that their days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely’ stressful was higher than the national average only in Quebec (25.5%).

Residents of the Ontario, British Columbia, and Yukon reported rates that were about the same as the national average.


End notes

References

Heart and Stroke Foundation. “Heart Disease.” Health Information. Last updated April 2010. http://www.heartandstroke.ca (accessed May 11, 2010).

Orpana, Heather, Louise Lemyre and Ronald Gravel. 2009. “Income and psychological distress: The role of the social environment.” Health Reports. Vol. 20, no. 1. March. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?lang=eng&catno=82-003-X200900110772 (May 11, 2010).

Shields, Margot. 2006. “Stress and depression in the employed population.” Health Reports. Vol. 17. no. 4. October. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 11–29. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2006/9495-eng.pdf (accessed May 11, 2010).

Shields, Margot. 2004. “Stress, health and the benefit of social support.” Health Reports. Vol. 15, no. 1. January. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 9–38. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2004/6763-eng.pdf (accessed May 11, 2010).

Statistics Canada. 2001. “Stress and well–being.” Health Reports. Vol. 12, no. 3. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 22. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2001/5626-eng.pdf (accessed May 11, 2010).

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.

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