LONDON, November 27 /PRNewswire/ -- This year's extended break from work will lead to extra stress and more overeating for four in ten people according to new research. Standard Life Healthcare conducted the research among 1005 adults.(i)

Key Findings

A longer Christmas break leads to more overeating and stress rather than more time to relax and exercise, depending on where you live:

The South 44% The Midlands 39% The North 35%

Having a longer break if you have children at home is less stressful than if you don't:

With children under 17 living at home 36% Without children under 17 living at home 42%

Being solely responsible for grocery shopping increases the overeating and stress:

Sole main grocery shopper 42% Joint grocery shopper 38%

Younger people claim to feel the stress or overindulge less than older people do:

16-34 33% 35-44 38% 55-64 48%

Mandy Blanks, Standard Life Healthcare's wellbeing spokesperson, explained: 'On one hand the good news is that having children at home for an extended break is less stressful than not having them, which may surprise some people. But given that people over 45 will feel the stress and overindulge the most, then maybe children underfoot aren't the cause of family arguments as much as might be imagined. Maybe it's all the adults being together for longer than usual that makes it stressful. Having strategies for dealing with stress and overindulgence such as long walks, time for the gym or swimming and maybe trying to have at least one healthy meal each day will help keep the stress away.'

Other research(ii) conducted by Standard Life shows that a longer Christmas break is used by some people to:

- Have overseas visitors over, as usually there wouldn't be enough time

- Take stock and plan for the next year

- Decorate the house

- Chill out, be a couch potato and be selfish

(i) A sample of 1005 GB adults aged 16-64 was interviewed. Interviewing was conducted by CAWI over the Internet from 25th - 29th October 2007. The sample has been weighted to represent the adult population of Great Britain aged 16-64.

(ii) Excerpts from BUS, a Business Uncovered Survey into attitudes to Christmas

More information from Neil Fullbrook or Dan Doherty at Cadence PR on +44(0)207-847-4037 or email: or