In this file photo, road construction workers watch out for residents walking around road construction on A Street in Bakersfield. Hot weather and hot asphalt make for uncomfortable working conditions. Bakersfield is in for more hot temperatures this week.

It's time to chill out, Bakersfield, because you have been named the sixth most stressed out city in the United States, according to a Babylon Health study.

Residents especially have to take it easy on Twitter, where data was gathered from more than five million tweets over two consecutive weeks in every state and the 100 most populated cities and towns in the country. 

Researchers analyzed tweets based on the classification of words related to stress, frustration, anxiety, anger and negativity on a scale of 1 (no stress) to 5 (extreme stress).

Bakersfield residents on the Twittersphere contributed to 11.96 percent of the tensest tweets, according to the study. A total of 19,139 tweets were analyzed from Bakersfield.

What could be causing so much stress in town? There seem to be a few culprits. 

A quick Twitter search of #Bakersfield reveals one roadblock that is the root of many people's stress: construction. 

"Pro tip for #Bakersfield... avoid the 99 like you would Ebola," said Twitter user JasonFrostPhoto on Tuesday.

"Why is all of Bakersfield under construction at the same time," asked Twitter user el moxhis.

It's understandable why construction and traffic might be a leading stressor among Bakersfield residents. With projects such as the Centennial Corridor, 24th Street widening and a construction barrier splitting traffic on Highway 99 going on simultaneously, road rage is well and alive in vehicles and online.

The recent heatwave isn't helping, either. According to Live Science, hot and humid weather is known to be associated with increases in aggression and violence.

"Bakersfield Heat is a different type of hell," Serena Skinner said on Twitter.

Some Bakersfield residents who were traveling to locations where there would be cloudy skies and rain in the forecast were posting gifs that expressed their excitement. 

"(Currently feeling the heat of Bakersfield.... sees that it's gonna rain in Baltimore)," said Twitter user JasperPie, with a gif of Julia Louis-Dreyfus cheering in a scene from "Seinfeld" with the caption "Hallelujah."

The next few days will have 100-plus degree temperatures, so it's no wonder people are hot-headed on Twitter.

However, there are ways to help people chill out and cool down in the well-known Bakersfield heat, explained Michelle Corson, public information officer for the Kern County Public Health Services Department.

"For many of us who have grown up here, hot summers are just part of living in the Central Valley," she said. "Often times when the hot summers come, we need to still remember we need to respect the heat and take measures to protect ourselves. Nobody should forget heat can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions."

Corson reminds everyone to stay hydrated and drink more water than they think they need, avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks because they are dehydrating, use sunscreen and wide brimmed hats to be protected from the sun, rest often in shady and cool areas and take extra precautions when exercising. She recommends people exercise in the morning or late evening when it is cooler outside or indoors if possible.

Other potential stressors that could have impacted Bakersfield's rankings include tweets on the Fourth of July earthquakes near Ridgecrest, poor air quality and homelessness.

A full list of the most stressed out cities is available at www.babylonhealth.com/c/national-stress/#/us-cities.

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.

(12) comments

Fram Smith

It is not surprising that Bakersfield residents are stressed out. Look at it from a home ownership point of reference. If you are buying your standard " Brady Bunch " home in Bakersfield , your monthly mortgage is around $2000 or less. But if you were in a comparable home in Orange County your monthly payment would be at least $ 4000 to as high as $8000. If you were a plumber or a trade person ; or someone who worked from home ; you move to a place like Bakersfield to reduce that monthly nut. But when you are financially stressed and can no longer crack that monthly financial nut here in Bakersfield , do you pack up your belongings and the kids , and move to Trona California? One of the benefits of living in Bakersfield is affordable housing. Yet, by the very same token , one of the problems is there is no real place to go , with more reasonable housing costs. It would appear that a lot of folks who live here are having a tough time cracking that ol' monthly nut. And there isn't any other place , short of Trona , to go.


I'm stressed about being hit by a nuclear missle from North Korea. Thankyou Trump!!!


ROLF . . . !

Bako . . . ?!

Stressed . . . !?

"Bikersfeld" is a Kern 'state-of-mind' (all cities). . . not just one town. (& "Ms" Sheebe has 'positive cynicism').

Besides: "Welcome back, GARTH . . . !!!"


Stress is part of life.. but stress in Bakersfield is probably because of the heat and the construction on the freeways.. 58 has been under construction for over 4 years..


Oh, it's true. What the article failed to confess is the chemicals in the air is messing with the brain and hormones.

Gassing us to violence , poor decision-making, slow progress, and frankly unattractive people. Yep, went too far with that last one, but hey at beach watching the waves and going to say it. Poor complexion and female thinning of hair isn't the best look.


Maybe, if we have a symposium of community leaders, we can reduce our stress levels and be more like LA or SF.

Peter Roth

Bakersfield is the largest city in the southern San Joaquin Valley.


I am stressed out because Twitter is collecting data. If the word Bakersfield is not mentioned in a post, do they take liberties to find out where you live in another way?


I don't live to far from Bakersfield. I don't believe in data c*ap either. Polls either. All hype.


Hello there Miss. Sheebe, I have found you very intriguing & I am willing too take the time too provide you my Facebook address.


Looking forward in opening a conversation with you. :)


Sheebe, afraid your negative cynicism gives you away as a stressed local.


Number 6 in the nation in stress, Number 1 in poorest air quality and out of 265 California cities, Bakersfield ranked 257th. in California cities that have the least amount of violent and non-violent crimes per population. Good ole Bakersfield, what a great place to live!

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