How Britons blow off steam
July 2nd, 2024, Clifton Mark

How Britons blow off steam

Modern living offers plenty of ways to build up steam, but what are the most common ways to relieve the pressure? YouGov Profiles, which provides granular insights into consumer data, shows that taking a walk (used by 44% of Britons), leaving the situation for somewhere quiet (42%) and talking to someone (42%) are by far the most common methods for letting off steam.

About a quarter of the adult population turn to exercise (26%) or simply take a nap (24%).

Cleaning (22%), crying (21%) and cooking (21%) are the next most popular options overall, but are all much more common among women than men. A third of women (33%) say they will cry to let off steam compared to only 9% of men. Similarly, 31% of women clean in tough emotional situations compared to 12% of men.

Men by contrast are more likely to turn to the bottle (14% vs 10%) and exercise (29% vs 24%).

Age also makes a difference to how Britons deal with emotional turbulence. Overall, Britons aged 51 and over are less likely to use any of the methods listed. It’s not clear whether this is because they have other ways of coping or if they’ve simply got less steam to blow off.

Younger people, aged 18-29, are more likely to talk to someone (35%), to cry (31%) or to hit something (13%) than other age groups. Those aged 30-50 are more likely than others to take a walk (43%) or have a drink (19%). Almost one in ten Britons (9%) of all age groups will scream to let off steam.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Great Britain is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race.