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Newcastle one of UK's 'least stressed' cities

Britain is in the grip of a stress 'epidemic'. Credit: PA

Newcastle is one of the "least stressed" cities in the UK, according to a new study.

The report, published today, has claimed the country is in the middle of a stress "epidemic" brought on by pressure at work, financial worries and health concerns.

A survey of 4,000 adults by insurance giant Axa found that four out of five felt stressed during a typical week, while almost one in 10 were stressed all the time.

Workplace stress was linked to the "always on" culture, with most people taking calls or checking emails in the evenings and at weekends.

More than two out of three were worried about their salary prospects, while almost as many were concerned about paying household bills.

Men were more likely to be stressed about work, the study revealed.

Most stressed cities:

Cardiff

Belfast

Sheffield

London

Leeds

Least stressed cities:

Brighton

Newcastle

Liverpool

Cambridge

Birmingham

Leicester

Many of those questioned said they watch TV, listen to music, read a book, exercise or drink alcohol to help combat stress.

Dr Mark Winwood, of Axa, said: "These findings illustrate the worrying scale of the UK's stress epidemic, occurring both in the workplace and at home, impacting people up and down the country.

"As well as work and finances, health seems to be a concern for a large number of Brits. People are not only worried about their own well-being but also the general health of their loved ones.

"It is encouraging to see a third of people exercising as a way to combat their stress, which is obviously a much healthier way of unwinding than smoking or drinking. Physical activity is proven to have a positive impact on mental health, even if it is just a walk around the block instead of a trip to the gym."