Author Topic: So Stuttgart is the world’s least stressful city, Manila 10th most stressful?  (Read 5138 times)

Joe Carillo

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How do you react when a U.S.-based international news agency, CNN no less, reports online that Stuttgart, Germany, is the world’s least stressful city and that Manila—our particular bone of contention in this posting—is the world’s 10th most stressful city? There’s not really much we can do if that, in fact, is the case, but then casually attributes the research study to a London-based dry-cleaning and laundry service named Zipjet. Without casting doubt on the laundry service expertise of Zipjet, which does business in several European cities, do we treat this reportage of its global stress-measurement study as an April Fools’ Day joke or—to use a term of more recent vintage—“fake news”?



Believe it or not, this news story with a very strange provenance was reported by’s Maureen O’Hare in the “Business Traveller” page of its September 13, 2017 edition. It was headlined “Revealed: The world’s least stressful cities.”

Excerpts from that report:

“A new study has revealed the world’s most and least stressful cities of 2017, based on factors including traffic levels, public transport, percentage of green spaces, financial status of citizens including debt levels, physical and mental health, and the hours of sunlight the city gets per year. Of the 150 cities ranked, four out of the top ten most stress-free cities are in Germany. The southern city of Stuttgart comes out on top, with Hanover in third place, Munich in fifth place and Hamburg in joint ninth place with Graz, Austria…”

In summary, here are the world’s least stressful cities according to
1. Stuttgart, Germany
2. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
3. Hanover, Germany
4. Bern, Switzerland
5. Munich, Germany
6. Bordeaux, France
7. Edinburgh, UK
8. Sydney, Australia

Also in summary, here are the world’s most stressful cities according to
1. Baghdad, Iraq
2. Kabul, Afghanistan
3. Lagos, Nigeria
4. Dakar, Senegal
5. Cairo, Egypt
6. Tehran, Iran
7. Dhaka, Bangladesh
8. Karachi, Pakistan
9. New Delhi, India
10. Manila, Philippines

But what takes the thunder away from the report and seriously detracts from its authenticity is the provenance of the study. Says without batting an eyelash at the utter incongruity of the statement: “The study, by UK-based dry-cleaning and laundry service Zipjet, was conducted by studying 500 locations based on data relating to 17 categories covering infrastructure, pollution levels, finance and citizens’ wellbeing.”

A quick check of its website tells us what Zipjet is:

“Zipjet is an online laundry and dry cleaning service in London. In addition to our premium dry clean and laundry service, we offer an excellent ironing service, wash & fold service and duvet cleaning. We are your personal dry cleaning and laundry collection and delivery service, delivering to your preferred location. Zipjet is the easiest, quickest and most convenient way to do your laundry. All you have to do is tap a button - it takes seconds! We want to rid you of one of the most mundane chores: laundry. Just think about it, no more wasting time on the weekends with washing, ironing, queuing at the cleaners on the high street. You should be spending time on the things you really love, and in a city as vibrant as London, there’s always more than enough to do…”

So, without making any prejudgment about the strangeness of it all, what do we make of this Zipjet study and of your news report about its findings, CNN? Are you withholding from your viewers and readers anything about Zipjet that we ought to know? Do we take your word for this report or do we send it to the cleaners for a good wash?

More to the point, CNN, what’s happening to your brand of international journalism?

Read’s “Revealed: The world’s least stressful cities” in full in the Forum now!
Read how Zipjet describes itself and its laundry and dry-cleaning business!

A Sept. 17, 2017 editorial, "Stress City," by the Philippine Daily Inquirer online edition
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 02:12:53 PM by Joe Carillo »