Health

Saturday 23 August 2014

Ireland's Thirtysomethings: Money worries are making us physically ill

Hard-pressed 30-somethings are suffering with the recession and money worries - picture posed by models
Hard-pressed 30-somethings are suffering with the recession and money worries - picture posed by models

THE recession is taking a heavy toll on the health of hard-pressed 30-somethings with more than four in 10 revealing it is affecting their physical well-being.

The fallout from the economic downturn is also putting them under serious psychological stress.

A significant 38pc of men and women around the country say it has left them feeling "depressed" in the last year.

Although they are in an age group when they are at low risk of serious disease, they have been prematurely burdened with the wear and tear brought on by financial anxiety due to the economic slump.

The relentless economic trough is being mirrored in their general welfare, sense of happiness, comfort and security when they should be in the prime of life.

Men are more likely to believe that it is impacting on their physical health (43pc) while the mental health of women is under more severe strain (39pc).

The health struggles are generally felt equally by those living in the city or outside the capital, the Irish Independent/Today FM Behaviour and Attitudes survey revealed.

However, those outside Dublin are at a slightly higher chance of becoming physically ill due to the financial stress of debt and meeting household bills. The extent of the hidden tension is increasingly being felt behind closed doors, sparking a rise in domestic squabbles over money.

More women than men say they are finding themselves increasingly arguing with their spouse or partner over money – a trend found across the country. As many as 37pc of women confess to getting into rows over financial difficulties, although men are less likely to admit to quarrelling over the issue.

Although 30-somethings are at lower risk of being admitted to hospital or having to be treated by a consultant, they put a high premium on a good health service.

It ranks highly in their list of priorities with 88pc of women and 82pc of men saying a good health system is important to them.

One of the more positive findings of the survey is the value which a majority are still putting on their leisure time.

Men and women in Dublin (82pc) are most likely to put a priority on downtime.

Men tend to value this leisure time slightly more than women.

Women are more likely than men to value education (77pc vs 73pc) but they are generally less interested in current affairs (50pc vs 54pc).

When it comes to making an "impression on the boss and work colleagues" women are the most conscientious with 73pc making this a priority compared to 71pc of men. It is lowest among Dubliners at 67pc.

CRIME

Levels of crime are a significant concern particularly to men in Dublin (71pc) and women in the rest of the country (68pc).

International terrorism received a higher ranking than politics for both men and women.

More than 40pc of both are concerned about international terrorism but when quizzed on politics this drops to 35pc for women and 37pc for men.

Women in Dublin, above all other groups, are are most concerned at world climate change (61pc).

* Tune into the Ray Darcy show on TodayFM to hear further comment on our survey.

By Eilish O'Regan

Irish Independent

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