A new study has found that majority of Australians, both men and women, are more concerned about their future prospects rather than broader issues such as war or climate change.
The first major study of the everyday worries of Australians, researchers from Macquarie University also found that fear about "the future" and "achievements" also ranked in the top five.
AdvertisementResearchers from the psychology department found it surprising that matters dominating the media, like war, climate change, politics or any other broader issue, were not at the forefront of people's minds.
''Worries were much more personal, and at high levels that people said affected their lives and their health,'' the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Associate Professor Jennifer Hudson, from the Centre for Emotional Health, as saying.
"A lot of people tended to worry about work, social interactions, their appearance and those sorts of areas."
An online survey asked participants about their level of worry across categories including health, society, work and relationships. Over 60 per cent of the 791 women said work and study worried them "moderately" to "a lot".
The figures were somewhat higher for the 287 men who responded, at about 70 per cent.
Of respondents under 30, over 80 per cent worried about work and study moderately to a lot and about a third said it affected sleep, mood and physical health. When quality of life was affected, Professor Hudson said, anxiety became a disorder, leading her to believe that clinical anxiety was under-diagnosed.
The executive director of The Australia Institute, Richard Denniss, asserted that the results reflected the think-tank's research that career and getting ahead were key concerns of those between 28 and 35.
"'It is probably a combination of people being worried about their job security, and also the measures people feel they have to go to in order to get ahead," Dr Denniss said.
"People feel anxious that other people appear to be working longer and harder than them, because at 11pm their colleague will send out an email copying in everyone in the office so that everyone knows they are still working late at night," Dr Denniss added.