New Global Index Ranks Perceptions of Stress

07 December 2020

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, more people around the world were under stress than was true over a decade ago. More than one in three adults (35%) worldwide said they experienced stress during “a lot of the day yesterday” in 2019 — up six percentage points from the 29% who said so in 2006. In fact, ahead of the pandemic, people reported feeling anger, stress, sadness, worry and physical pain at elevated levels, according to Gallup’s 2020 Global Emotions Report.

Based on these data, we know that stress is a pervasive, growing problem across much of the world. We also know that it doesn’t have any boundaries. Half of people in Iraq and Ghana — and the United States — were stressed last year.

Improving awareness and understanding about stress globally is an important step in promoting wellness and improving people’s wellbeing. This is why the Lightkeeper Group and Gallup are working together to comprehensively study stress worldwide with the World Stress Index. The World Stress Index will be the most comprehensive study of humanity’s perception of stress, representing the views of more than 95% of the world’s adult population.

In consultation with leading experts, Gallup and Lightkeeper Group are designing the World Stress Index survey by conducting qualitative research on each continent. The World Stress Index survey questions will be added to the Gallup World Poll, the same survey vehicle used to collect United Nations Sustainable Development Goal metrics from over 140 countries and areas in more than 150 languages. Gallup and Lightkeeper Group will publish the findings in an in-depth report.

The World Stress Index aims to increase people’s awareness about stress and provide new insights to a global community of researchers, health and wellness providers, nonprofits, and governments involved in a growing movement of leaders who are placing wellbeing at the heart of society.

Find out more about the project.

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