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10 Most Stressed Cities in America from the 2021 Mindbody Wellness Index

The 10 Most Stressed Cities in America in 2021

2020 hit different––two in three adults in America report their stress levels have remained heightened throughout the pandemic, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). With the 2021 Mindbody Wellness Index, we looked at wellness from several different dimensions, including how COVID affected wellbeing in America. One of the factors that we looked at was stress. We present to you, the ten most stressed US cities.

1. Oakland, CA

Coming in at the number one most stressed city is Oakland. Perhaps residents are managing their stress well–out of all 50 cities we surveyed, Oakland had the highest percentage of people who turned to meditation during the shutdown (30%). On the other hand, they are the third-highest city in terms of smokers.

2. Minneapolis, MN

Our second most stressed city is Minneapolis; 55% of residents feel stressed regularly. On top of this, 61% of residents’ mental health took a hit during the pandemic.

3. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City is our third most stressed city. Perhaps that is due to a lack of physical exercise, only 63% of residents say they work out once a week or more. The city also had the smallest percentage of residents focusing more on health and wellness since the pandemic started.

4. El Paso, TX

El Paso is our fourth most stressed city as half of residents feel stressed regularly. This city has the smallest percentage of people getting the recommended amount of sleep, and residents feel the least connected to their community (among the 50 cities surveyed), which could be impacting their stress levels.

5. Los Angeles, CA

The City of Angels is the fifth most stressed city. However, LA has the lowest smoking rate among the 50 cities surveyed, and it is great to see that eight in 10 (79%) exercise once a week or more.

6. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa, sixth in stress levels, has the most smokers out of all our cities. The city is also third to last in consistent exercise (once a week or more) and second to last on getting the recommended amount of sleep. We learned that the city’s largest obstacles to a healthier life are money constraints and a lack of support.

7. New Orleans, LA

Forty-nine percent of people in New Orleans feel stressed regularly. The city is in the bottom ten of all 50 cities for having close relationships with family and friends. They are in the top ten cities with the most smokers. Money is an obstacle for many who are looking to lead a healthier life.

8. Miami, FL

Despite being America’s healthiest city, Miami also made the most stressed list. On the bright side, eighty-six percent exercise once a week or more. They are huge lovers of virtual fitness, as three out of four people work out with their screens once a week or more. Miami is also the city most likely to receive massages, partake in group weight and strength training, aerobics, and dance fitness classes.

9. Atlanta, GA

The ninth most stressed city is Atlanta. More than seven out of ten (71%) people in Atlanta focused more on wellness during the pandemic. This city receives health and life coaching the most out of any other. They also came in second for trying meditation during the pandemic.

10. Denver, CO

Our tenth most stressed city is Denver. Denver practices weight and strength training more than any other city. However, only 48% of people reported feeling happy most of the time, with 42% sharing that money is an obstacle and 32% sharing that accountability is an obstacle to a healthier life.

Least Stressed Cities

In case you are interested in the least stressed cities in 2021, we included a list below, number one is the least stressed.

  1. Detroit, MI
  2. Memphis, TN
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Long Beach, CA
  5. Chicago, IL
  6. Austin, TX
  7. Arlington, TX
  8. Jacksonville, FL
  9. Louisville, KY
  10. Fort Worth, TX

Want to provide stress release for these cities?

Did your city make the list? As a wellness business, you can help make a difference in stress levels by offering classes and wellness services designed to help clients relax, whether they are local or not.

If you are a fitness business, make sure you've opted into Mindbody Flex to put your class in front of thousands of folks looking to unwind each day. Even if your business is not located in one of these cities, you can still reach people with your Flex listing.

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About the author:

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Staff Writer

Mindbody is powering the world's fitness and wellness businesses, connecting them with more consumers, more effectively, than anyone else.


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