Performance Anxieties And Fear Of ‘First Times’ Tops Poll

First Day On The Job, Childbirth And Marriage Top The Fear Factor!

4 Out Of 10 Of Us Spend Two Hours A Day Worrying!

Brits dread the first day of a new job and childbirth more than sex, operations and buying a house – that’s the verdict of a new study pinpointing the factors that cause us the most anxiety over the course of a lifetime.

The research study, commissioned to coincide with the launch of hot new cop show Rookie Blue on the Universal Channel, from 10pm on Sunday 27th February, surveyed 2,000 people on the most common causes of anxiety, providing a compelling insight into the defining moments we can’t help but dread.

The study suggests that many of our biggest fears relate to ‘firsts’, with new jobs, first sexual encounters and first borns featuring highly on the countdown, suggesting Britain as a nation is prone to performance anxiety.

Topping the run down was the prospect of child birth, a fear earmarked by both men and women as a primary cause for concern, and the ultimate under taking of responsibility. Meanwhile, in keeping with times of employment instability, the nerve inducing first day of a new job swiftly followed at number two.

Courtship and commitment also left respondents in a cold sweat – marriage and buying a first home fell at number three and five on the list respectively.

The full top ten in the Lifetime Fear Factor appears below:


1.      Giving birth/attending the birth of a child
2.      First day on a new job
3.      Marriage
4.      Operation
5.      Buying a home
6.      Losing your virginity
7.      Redundancy
8.      Meeting the in laws
9.      First kiss
10.  Leaving home

Operations and hospital visits also spelt fear and unease amongst us, falling at number four in the countdown, whilst intimate milestones sparked a crisis of confidence – losing your virginity came in at number six, while the frightening first kiss fell in at number nine.

Meanwhile, career concerns continue to weigh heavily on the mind– the threat of redundancy is at number seven,  a clear sign of the recession led gloom prevailing.

Unsurprisingly, when quizzed on the decade that generates the highest levels of anxiety in our lives, the teens rated at the top of the poll with 23%, having often been earmarked as the generation in which professional and personal fortunes are at their greatest uncertainty. The ensuing decades don’t get much more relaxed it seems, with the twenties (22%), thirties (13%) and forties (11%) following in descending order.

Findings also indicated how 41% of us spend over two hours a day on average worrying or anxious, and it is finances and work that prove our most prevalent daily stresses – paying bills is the most popular daily worry with 29%, with ‘work problems’, the constant pressure to reply to emails, and meetings also highlighted.

Regionally, London residents appear to be the biggest commitment phobes with 5% fearing marriage and mortgages, compared to the relatively laid back Irish and Midlands’s citizens who don’t dread marriage at all. Reaffirming our stereotype of the friendly northerner, meeting the in-laws is low down on their list of anxieties, with those in the North East and North West barely registering the occasion as a worry. Whereas those down south in London and the South East cite this as an event worth stressing over!

The top ten daily anxieties are as follows:

1.      Paying bills
2.      Work problems
3.      Looking after children
4.      Household chores
5.      Looking good
6.      Getting to work on time
7.      Replying to emails
8.      Meetings
9.      Planning social activity

Commenting on the findings, NBC Universal Programming Director Jamie Morris said “The results of the study would certainly suggest that it’s the significant milestones in life that cause our biggest angst and anxiety, from starting a new job through to buying homes and starting families. Rookie Blue is all about that dreaded first day and all those defining ‘first times’ we face with fear and trepidation… and judging by the outcome of the study it’ll be something plenty of us can relate to!”

About Universal Channel

Universal Channel is the home of gripping character-driven entertainment, specializing in crime, legal and medical procedural drama.  A core brand of Universal Networks International, the global channels division of NBCUniversal, Universal Channel’s portfolio of high-quality programming includes UK premieres of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, and the new global-hit cop series, Rookie Blue, alongside other popular US titles, such as Monk, House and Psych.

Universal Channel is available on Sky 113, Sky HD 113, Virgin 162, and Talk Talk 8. Universal Channel +1 is on Sky 150 and Virgin 163.