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Many agree Las Vegas ranks as most stressful city

More women than men agree with a Forbes magazine article that ranked Las Vegas as the most stressful city in America, a Review-Journal/8NewsNow poll showed.

Overall, 53 percent of respondents agreed with the Forbes ranking, 40 percent disagreed and 7 percent were not sure, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research firm.

Among women, 57 percent agreed that Las Vegas is the most stressful city, compared with 48 percent of men. Forty percent of both men and women disagreed.

In ranking cities for stress, Forbes put Las Vegas at No. 1 for unemployment and lack of exercise; No. 2 for poor physical health; No. 3 for limited access to health care; No. 6 for long work hours; and No. 32 for long commute times.

“I suspect this has a lot to do with the economy there,” Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said.

“People are economically stressed. They’re underwater on their houses. I think that’s the biggest contributor to that.”

The most stressful city ranking came two weeks after Forbes ranked Las Vegas the “Coolest City” in America based on the number of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, museums, galleries and arena venues.

“To 36 million tourists per year, Las Vegas is a place to blow off steam and get away from the pressures of daily life,” the Forbes article said. “But residents of the city are far from carefree. The housing crisis and the recession hit the city hard, and it currently has a 14.5 percent unemployment rate, the highest of all the cities we studied.”

Given the current economic situation and the town’s 24-hour schedule, Las Vegas yoga instructor Tricia Saba said she is not a bit surprised by the stress ranking. People are being pulled in different directions. They need to close their eyes, take a deep breath and give their mind a rest, she said.

“The key to reducing stress is turning off the monkey mind, the jabbering going on in your head,” Saba said. “What­ever is there today isn’t necessarily going to be there tomorrow. Let it go.”

It’s probably the economy — not the 24-hour, seven-day lifestyle — that stresses out local residents, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce president Matt Crosson said.

Forbes “mischaracterized” the results and should have said what city’s population is experiencing the most stress because of the economy, he said.

“I just moved here from the East Coast, from Long Island (N.Y.), where taxes are high and there are a lot of hassles in daily life,” Crosson said. “It’s a very rushed lifestyle.”

Having the nation’s highest un­employment rate and highest foreclosure rate means a lot of people in Las Vegas are feeling distress, but that’s different than Las Vegas being a stressful place to live, he said.

“Go back to 2007 or 2006. Getting around was the same, but you wouldn’t say then it was a stressful lifestyle. What changed is the economy,” Crosson said. “I think you could make an argument that a disproportionate number of people are experiencing stress because of the economy.”

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research conducted the survey of 405 registered Clark County voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at hsmith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0491.

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