Hartlepool is one of UK's most stressed towns, according to the tweets we send

The survey worked out which towns are most stressed by analysing the tweet content of people who live there.
The survey worked out which towns are most stressed by analysing the tweet content of people who live there.

Hartlepool is one of the most-stressed towns in the country, according to a new survey which analyses people's tweets.

Babylon Health analysed more than 5 million real-time tweets over a two-week period, including every UK county and the nation's 100 most populated cities, to find out where people are most likely to tweet about stress, frustration and anxiety.

Sundays are the most stressful day of the week, and evenings the most stressful time of day, according to the Twitter-based study.

Sundays are the most stressful day of the week, and evenings the most stressful time of day, according to the Twitter-based study.

Hartlepool emerged as the most stressed place in the North East, and the third-most-stressed town in the UK, with 11.67 per cent of its residents publishing stressed tweets.

Only Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire (13.8 per cent) and Cardiff in South Glamorgan (11.97 per cent) have a greater proportion of stressed tweets.

Two other North East towns make the Top 10 of most-stressed places; Gateshead is sixth with a score of 10.72 per cent, while Middlesbrough is 10th with 10.56 per cent.

Darlington is 23rd (9.89 per cent), and Sunderland and Newcastle 86th and 87th, with 8.19 per cent and 8.17 per cent respectively.

County Durham is the most stressed county in England, with 10.69 per cent of tweets measured as 'stressed', with Sundays the most stressful day of the week, and evenings the most stressful time of day.

The tool TensiStrength was used to estimate the stress levels in these tweets, by analysing them on a scale of -1 (no stress) to -5 (very highly stressed), based on the classification of words related to stress, frustration, anxiety, anger and negativity.

The final rankings are based on the locations with the highest proportion of tweets that are classified as ‘moderately stressed’ or higher (-3 to -5 on the TensiStrength scale).

TensiStrength estimates the strength of stress and relaxation expressed in short texts, even in informal language, by analysing the terms used that are related to stress, frustration, anxiety, anger and negativity. These texts are then ranked on two scales:

-1 (no stress) to -5 (very highly stressed)1 (no relaxation) to 5 (highly relaxed)TensiStrength was developed by Mike Thelwall, Professor of IT at Wolverhampton University, and has been optimised for general short social web texts, such as tweets.

He said: "TensiStrength’s terms are not only synonyms for stress, anxiety and frustration, but also terms related to anger and negative emotions, because stress can be a response to negative events and can cause negative emotions.

"The list also includes stressors as additional indirect indicators in the belief that if someone describes situations that are likely causes of stress, such as being late, then they may be experiencing stress."

What makes a 'stressed' tweet?

These are examples of tweets that are ranked -5 (very highly stressed) on the TensiStrength scale:

"My job makes me ******* anxious and not even working right now."

"My back hurts when in the middle of my work. My back hurts horribly when on my days off."

"Who else is SUPER depressed about the state of healthcare as shown by the poor broke."

"You know it's time to take a mental health break when you absolutely sob your heart out over papoose."

"Mental health is absolutely heartbreaking."

Why is the UK stressed?

A 2018 study by YouGov, in association with Mental Health Foundation, revealed that in the past year, 74 per cent of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.

In the same study, 36 per cent of all adults who reported stress cited either their own or a friend/relative's long-term health condition as a factor, followed by 22 per cent of people citing debt as a stressor.

Similarly, HSE's recent study revealed that 595,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2017/18, resulting in 15.4 million working days lost.

To see the full study, visit the Babylon Health website here.