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Shopping over the Festive period causes most stress

Braving the shops tops the list of what causes stress during the festive season, according to a poll by a blood pressure charity.

The Boxing Day sales can seriously damage your health, according to Blood Pressure UK Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Blood Pressure UK carried out the survey to demonstrate just what a stressful time of year the Festive period can be, and as the Boxing Day sales begin offer advice on how to keep blood pressure down.

The poll found that shopping for presents (29%), panic over what gifts to buy (16%) and the cost of Christmas (12%) are the biggest triggers for stress.

Only one in four people (25%) said they felt no stress at all over Christmas.

The charity provides information and support for the 16 million people living with high blood pressure, and raises awareness of how to prevent the condition.

"As this poll shows, Christmas can be quite stressful for a lot of people; everything from trying to find somewhere to park, braving the crowds during busy times and dealing with the queues, which can cause people to feel their blood pressure rising.

"However, stress is just one of many lifestyle factors that put up our blood pressure, which causes two-thirds of all strokes and half of all heart attacks."

– Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Blood Pressure UK

High blood pressure affects more than one in four adults in the UK and there are several factors that can cause the condition, which include not only stress, but also eating too much salt, drinking too much and the lack of physical activity - all elements that happen around Christmas time when we start to relax and over indulge.

"Many people are unaware they have high blood pressure; there are over five million people walking around like a ticking time bomb.

"High blood pressure is symptomless, but the strokes and heart attacks it causes are not, which is why it is called 'the silent killer'."Our advice is to stay away from the crowds if you find shopping stressful - try planning ahead or shopping online.

"Whilst you're at it, add a home blood pressure monitor to your shopping list, as measuring your blood pressure at home has been shown to be a great way to take control of your health."

– Katharine Jenner, chief executive of Blood Pressure UK

People in North East spend most at Christmas

North East shoppers expected to spend the most Credit: PA

Shoppers in the North East spend more money at Christmas than anywhere else in the country. British consumers expect to spend over £500 on gifts, socialising and entertaining, with men emerging as the festive big spenders.

Shoppers in the North East will spend, on average, over £600.

The findings are revealed in a poll of more than 2,000 consumers across the UK by financial and technology services company True Potential.


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Scarborough Lifeboathouse to be demolished

Scarborough RNLI is going afloat today to prepare for the demolition of the lifeboathouse.

The two lifeboats will be moored in the harbour while the lifeboathouse is demolished and a new one built.

Artists' impression of the new Scarborough lifeboathouse Credit: RNLI

Two temporary portacabins will be placed in a corner of the harbour for the crew to use as an office, changing rooms, etc.

Today's closure of the lifeboathouse coincides with the 60th anniversary of the capsize in 1954 of the lifeboat ECJR, near the harbour mouth while returning from service.

RNLI crewmembers from yesteryear Credit: RNLI

Coxswain Tom Clark and other RNLI personnel will mark the station closure with a short service beginning at 3pm to remember all those who have not returned to shore.

The lifeboat will launch for the final time from the lifeboathouse, which will soon be demolished and replaced. The crew will lay a wreath in the harbour mouth in memory of the three crew members who died in 1954: coxswain John Sheader, Francis Bayes and John Cammish.

A bagpiper will play a lament as one of the longest serving crew members, Peter Billingsley, lowers the RNLI flag. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Shrek performs Newcastle Christmas lights 'switch on'

Shrek and The Green Fairy switched on the Christmas lights at Eldon Square in Newcastle Credit: North News

The well-loved film character Shrek has switched on the Christmas lights at Eldon Square in Newcastle.

Ahead of his arrival at Newcastle Theatre Royal in March 2015 as part of the first ever Shrek The Musical tour of the UK and Ireland, he switched on the lights which feature over 100,000 pea lights, and in excess of 25,000 baubles and ornaments.

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