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London Tops European Stress League

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Londoners are the most stressed out people in Europe, figures out today confirm.

 Long working hours, lousy weather and growing financial worries mean that those living in the UK's capital city are feeling the strain and are unable to let off steam and unwind.

Now a survey, commissioned by easyJet, has shown that the UK is home to the most stressed out capital city of all European nations.

In the study, 1,000 UK residents were asked to identify the most stressful European capital cities and the best ways to unwind.

London flew to the top of the poll with 57 per cent of respondents claiming it was the most stressful. Helsinki is seen as the least stressful receiving just 2 per cent of the votes.

 Riitta Balza, of Visit Finland, said: "Helsinki's secret weapon is its sauna culture, making it best placed for Britons to unwind this winter. 

She added: "Relaxing is big on our agenda in Helsinki. Having one sauna for every three people seems to be going a long way to help us unwind.

"The fact that the survey reveals we're one of the most chilled out European capital cities is welcome news and we look forward to welcoming stressed out Brits to our laid back city!"

David Osborne, easyJet's Commercial General Manager for the UK, said: "London is known for working some of the longest hours in Europe but what makes London most stressed is the fact that we don't seem able to unwind.

 "Londoners still tend to bottle up problems, and by working and playing so hard they don't really know how to relax like people in other European cities.

"What we need to do is take a leaf out of Helsinki's book and literally let off some steam."

To emphasise the point easyJet is taking a life-size sauna around the streets of central London to encourage stressed out commuters to take time to relax Helsinki style (13th November).

The survey also asked how people unwind, how many hours they dedicated to leisure time and what made them feel stressed.

More than 56 per cent of people felt solidarity methods of relaxation were the best way to unwind, with sleeping, reading a book and taking a bath coming out as firm favourites.

 Fewer than 28 per cent of Brits questioned thought engaging with others, such as talking to friends or spending time with family were also good ways to relax.
More than 70 per cent revealed they dedicated fewer than four hours to relaxation and leisure time each day.

 When asked what the greatest cause of stress was, more than 40 per cent of those questioned identified money worries and the rising cost of living as the leading cause, suggesting the credit crunch is taking its toll.
David continued: "Our customers always come first so if it's relaxing destinations at affordable prices that are needed to ease credit crunch woes then that's exactly what we'll deliver.

"Together with its sauna culture, Helsinki is famous for its night life, cultural phenomena and culinary pleasures and is poised as the hidden pearl of Northern Europe."

"easyJet has just launched a new route between Gatwick and Helsinki, with prices starting from £32.99. Having already been the largest airline at Gatwick, this new route gives customers even more choice and unbeatable fares."
The announcement of another new route out of Gatwick comes at an exciting time for easyJet as it has just been crowned the Best Low Cost / No Frills Airline at this year's British Travel Awards.
The airline also won the silver award under the best flight-booking website category for its website, easyjet.com.

Survey results:

Which of the following do you consider to be the most stressful European capital cities?*

London (57 per cent)

Paris (39 per cent)

Rome (26 per cent)

Istanbul (20 per cent)

Berlin (15 per cent)

Madrid (11 per cent)

Brussels (11 per cent)

Stockholm (3 per cent)

Luxembourg City (2 per cent)

Helsinki (2 per cent)

What is the best way to unwind?

Sleep (17 per cent)

Reading a book (14 per cent)

Taking a bath (13 per cent)

Exercise (12 per cent)

Alcohol (10 per cent)

Sex (8 per cent)

Talking to friends (8 per cent)

Other (18 per cent)

How many hours do you dedicate to leisure time?

3 - 4 hours each day (35 per cent)

1 - 2 hours each day (24 per cent)

less than 1 hour each day (3 per cent)

5 -6 hours each day (14 per cent)

9 - 10 hours each day (11 per cent)

7 - 8 hours each day (5 per cent)

What makes you the most stressed?

Money worries (30 per cent)

Traffic (16 per cent)

Rising cost of living (11 per cent)

People (21 per cent)

Working hours (8 per cent)

Weather (4 per cent)

Other (10 per cent)

* respondents were asked to give more than one answer

PHOTO: easyJet's life-size sauna tours the streets of central London to encourage stressed out commuters to relax Helsinki style


Notes to editors

easyJet is Europe's leading low-fares airline, currently operating 166 aircraft on 385 routes between 106 airports in 27 countries. easyJet carried 44 million passengers in the past 12 months.

easyJet flies to:

Aberdeen, Ajaccio, Alicante, Almeria, Amsterdam, Asturias, Athens, Barcelona, Bari, Basel, Bastia, Belfast, Berlin, Biarritz, Bilbao, Birmingham, Bordeaux, Bournemouth, Brindisi, Bristol, Budapest, Brussels, Bucharest, Catania, Cagliari, Cologne, Copenhagen, Corfu, Casablanca, Dalaman, Dortmund, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Faro, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Gibraltar, Glasgow, Gran Canaria, Grenoble, Hamburg, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Inverness, Istanbul, Jersey, Krakow, Lamezia Terme, Lanzarote, La Rochelle, Lisbon, Liverpool, Ljubljana, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Lyon, Madeira, Madrid, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Manchester, Marrakech, Marseille, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Montpellier, Munich, Murcia, Mykonos, Nantes, Naples, Newcastle, Nice, Olbia, Palermo, Palma, Paphos, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, Pisa, Porto, Prague, Rhodes, Rome, Salzburg, Sharm El Sheik, Sofia, Split, Stockholm, Tangier, Tallinn, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw, Zurich.