03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

APA Stress Survey: Denver Is Most Stressed Out City

The American Psychological Association released its annual survey examining stress levels across the country this week, revealing that 75 percent of Denver residents are significantly stressed from work and money, coming in as the most stressed city in America.

More than one-third of Denverites ranked their average stress levels as an 8, 9 or 10, (on a 10-point scale) and nearly half of Denverites reported increased stress over the past year.

These findings concern psychologists because long-term stress can contribute to chronic health disorders. In fact, 37 percent of Denver residents said they had stress-related physical symptoms, such as muscular tension, with on 24 percent nationally reporting physical symptoms.

Stress can also contribute to high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol.
A Colorado psychologist commented on the findings in a PRNewswire release revealing this year's survey results.

"People living in Denver are not only significantly stressed but are also experiencing serious symptoms related to stress," said psychologist Dr. Stephanie Smith, the public education coordinator for the Colorado Psychological Association. "When stress is ignored or managed in unhealthy ways, it will most likely lead to further health problems. This is why it's crucial for people to pay attention to their stress levels and do something about it."

The survey's national statistics show that 24 percent of adults experience high levels of stress and 51 percent experienced moderate stress levels in the past year.

The survey also asked what people do to manage their stress, and most people rely on sedentary activities such as listening to music, reading and watching TV or movies.