Parents who stay at home and look after the household are the most stressed out, a new UK study claims.
According to a research conducted by Mindlab Organisation, mothers or fathers who do household chores are more frazzled than those with traditionally high-pressure jobs, like city trading, teaching or nursing.
Stress levels were investigated in British adults as per their work roles - stay-at-home parents, taxi drivers, teachers, nurses and city dealers. The conclusion was reached by measuring levels of the stress hormone cortisol throughout an average working day. It was found that stay-at-home parents proved to be the most under pressure. Nurses ranked second in the list, followed by the traders, then teachers and finally, taxi drivers.
A bio-monitoring equipment was used to measure and record the heart rate and skin conductance. The participants were connected to the equipment and tested over a seven-hour period. Also, samples of saliva were taken at crucial junctures during the day to measure cortisol, which is a direct indicator of stress.
"The key here is the degree of control each of these professionals feel able to exercise over their lives," the Daily Express quoted Dr David Lewis, who was part of the research, as saying. "Stay-at-home parents receive little or no specific training and are furthermore typically isolated from other adults for much of the day," he added.
Psychologist Jenni Trent Hughes said: "The answer is simply to be selfish and take some time out. After 21 years of running around after the family, pets, supermarket and the house, women have earned it. If you're not taking care of yourself then how can you properly take care of anyone else? If you're ratty or short-tempered, tired or at your wits end how can you possibly be the best you can be for your partner, children, family and last but definitely not least yourself?"