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Chronic stress levels 40% higher in full-time working women with children, but flexible work reduces stress

  • Date

    Mon 28 Jan 19

Woman cycling

Biological markers for chronic stress are 40% higher in women bringing up two children while working full-time, new research shows.

Working from home and flexitime have no effect on their level of chronic stress – only putting in fewer hours at work helps, according to the study published in the the British Sociological Association journal Sociology.

Researchers from the University of Essex and the University of Manchester analysed data on 6,025 participants in Understanding Society, UK Household Longitudinal Survey, which collects information on working life and readings of measures of stress response, including hormones levels and blood pressure.

The researchers are Professor Tarani Chandola, of the University of Manchester, and Dr Cara Booker, Professor Meena Kumari and Professor Michaela Benzeval, of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex.