Houston Near Top Of Nation's 'Most Stressful' Cities

A new survey by Forbes magazine finds that Houston is one of the most stressful cities in nation. David Pitman has more.

Forbes ranks Houston as America's third most stressful city, behind Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, at number one.  Forbes' Francesca Levy says measuring a city's stress is not an easy, straightforward thing to do.

"There aren't many surveys where people answer questions about how stressed they are on a large scale.  So we wanted to look at a lot of different factors that are both things that can potentially cause stress, and also things that also kind of result from stress."

For Houston, that stress comes from lengthy commutes, a general lack of exercise, and spending more time at work than any other city in the nation — an average of more than 41 hours a week, according to the Census Bureau.  Also, Levy says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 25% of Houstonians lack adequate health insurance.

"It's interesting, because people work so much in Houston, you'd think there'd be more health care that was associated with employer-provided medical insurance.  But it could be that a lot of people are working part-time or temporary jobs, and that isn't immediately associated with health insurance."

Levy says Dallas also made the top ten list of Forbes' most stressful cities — for many of the same reasons Houston did.

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...