Chicago most stressed city in U.S.

Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:41am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Striving to attain that perfect life, work balance? You're not alone, but if you live in Chicago you're more unlikely to find it with residents of the Windy City the most stressed in the United states.

A survey by Harris Interactive found Chicago is the most stressed city in the nation, followed Houston, Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego, while Miami is the least stressed, along with Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Cincinnati and Minneapolis.

"It is (due) to a combination of different things. There wasn't one thing that made Chicago stand out but they were the ones who had the least attainment of life balance," Harris Interactive spokeswoman Regina Corso told Reuters.

"In other cities, some by leaps and bounds, their residents have managed to attain some level (of life balance)."

Washington DC, despite its concentration of politicians and high-powered wheeler-dealers, came 12th in the poll of 25 cities, ahead of New York at No. 17 but lower than Denver, San Francisco, Tampa or Seattle on the stress scale.

"I expected to see a different order," admitted Corso. "But maybe people in Chicago are trying to do too much."

She attributed Miami's low stress levels to its proximity to the sea, warm weather and laid back attitude.

Nearly three quarters of Americans questioned in the Life Balance Barometer Survey commissioned by Princess Cruises said they have not discovered how to juggle work and personal priorities, but 53 percent believe they could achieve it in the next five years.   Continued...

<p>A view of the Chicago skyline August 13, 2009. REUTERS/John Gress</p>