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Had it up to here? Maryland is nation's second-most stressed-out state, survey says

Had it up to here? Maryland is nation's second-most stressed-out state, survey says
Analysts looked at 5 million real-time tweets over a two-week period, from all 50 states. Of Maryland’s tweets, 11.39 percent were ranked as stressed. (Matt Rourke / AP)

Feeling stressed? Seems you’re not alone — especially in Maryland.

The Free State is the most stressed-out state in the U.S., behind only Alaska, according to a survey from Babylon Health. Not surprisingly, Baltimore is the most-stressed city in Maryland, and the 21st most-stressed city in the U.S. (Chronic worriers should stay away from Hialeah, Fla., which earns the dubious distinction of being our country’s most-stressed-out city.)

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How does one measure stress for such a study? Apparently it doesn’t involve attaching electrodes to anyone or measuring how badly the people in a given population sweat or even gauging how badly the local sports teams are doing (so it’s OK, Orioles, you’re off the hook). The survey measured stress by looking at the population’s tweets, rating them on a scale of -1 (“no stress”) to -5 (“very highly stressed”). Those ratings took into account “the classification of words related to stress, frustration, anxiety, anger and negativity.” The final ranking is based on the number of tweets that scored between -3 and -5.

(As an example, the press release announcing the survey results tagged “I'm stressed. It's causing insomnia and I hate it” as an example of a stressful tweet. No word on whether “The &!%$#@&! O’s bullpen blew another one!” would have qualified.)

Analysts looked at 5 million real-time tweets over a two-week period, according to the release, from all 50 states and the country’s 100 most-populated cities. Of Maryland’s tweets, 11.39 percent were ranked as stressed, with Wednesdays the most stressful day, morning the most stressful time of day.

This doesn’t seem to be a regional problem, however. According to an interactive graphic linked to the release, our neighbor, Delaware, is the least-stressed state in the U.S., with only an 8.23 percent stressed-tweet level.

Babylon Health is a London-based organization whose mission “is to put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on earth,” according to its website.

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