Stay at home parenting suffers the 'Vesuvius Effect'

It’s official! The stay at home parent is the most stressful job in Britain, despite what Daily Mail readers would have people believe.

In a study conducted as part of the Radox Be-Selfish campaign, stress levels in UK adults were tested from five different professions: Stay-at-home parents, taxi drivers, teachers, nurses and city traders.

The surprising results showed that the stay at home parent was the most stressful job, followed by nurses, city traders, teachers and then taxi drivers.

During tests, participants taking part in a seven hour, working day period were connected up to bio-monitoring equipment which continuously measured and recorded heart rate.

Saliva was also tested at key points during the day to measure cortisol, a hormone which indicates the presence of stress.

The stay at home parents had three times more high or extreme heart rates than the third place teachers and the greatest level of cortisol throughout the day.

Dr David Lewis, from the Mindlab Organisation has a theory as to why parents come out top in the ‘stress league’.

It’s all to do with controlling and dealing with the stress. Parents don’t get trained in parenting and are usually isolated from other adults for most of the day.

‘Bigger stresses’ is part of a new condition labelled Vesuvius syndrome.

Vesuvial outbursts happen when everyday stresses build up to the point of explosion.

A quarter of stay at home parents have a Vesuvial episode every week and ten per cent every day.

Parents are now being urged to have some selfish time just  for themselves to help stop vesuvial moments.

Best selling author Kathy Lette has teamed up with Radox to create a brand new waterproof book for parents to read in the bath.

Dedicated to ‘all stressed women everywhere’, it is available free at