One-third of people in Switzerland want more hugs, wellbeing survey reveals

One-third of people in Switzerland want more hugs, wellbeing survey reveals

A simple hello when walking down the street, a meal with friends or just a chat over a cup of coffee - there are many ways people in Switzerland choose to wind down and relax. Unfortunately, according to a new survey by research agency Sotomo, many people in Switzerland are stressed, with a third saying they want more hugs in the future.

The mood among people in Switzerland has declined

In the study, 5.554 people in Switzerland were asked how their mood was in general. According to the results, given to Blick, 41 percent of residents reported that they are “satisfied” with their life. However, around a quarter said they felt “okay” or average, with the study’s authors finding the more they asked, the more negative people said they felt.

"We were surprised by the extent of the bad mood and in particular the exhaustion," noted Sotomo project manager Anna John. She found that the situation around the world, with the war in Ukraine and the threat of gas shortages, is even bringing those with a positive outlook down. 

Pressure at work and social inexperience behind stressed young people

The study also found that the “meritocracy” and high-pressure environment around jobs in Switzerland has significantly affected the population’s relationship with work. The study found that 28 percent of people feel exhausted when on the clock, most of whom were young people. 27 percent of women and 19 percent of men said they even feel exhausted during their free time.

"The study expresses a state of collective exhaustion among young people and especially young women in Switzerland," John noted. She explained that younger people are more influenced by their performance at work and in social settings than older people who rely on pensions and older friendship groups. 

This has been exacerbated by social inexperience brought about by the COVID pandemic. "Now we see that despite the lifting of the measures, [young people] have not recovered," John noted. This was highlighted in the fact that one-third of people in Switzerland would like more hugs.

Survey reveals how people in Switzerland like to relax

To help relieve stress, the survey found that 51 percent of people in Switzerland like to immerse themselves in nature, by going on a walk or cycle ride through the rolling hills and mountains. Finding solace in a romantic partner or friend were the second and third most popular ways to relieve stress at 48 and 47 percent, followed by free-time activities (39 percent), spending time with family (31), sports (30), pets (26), holidays (22), work (17) and religion (11).

Speaking to Blick, Joëlle Gut, a registered psychologist, said that it was important to reconnect with the emotional and physical closeness that had to be avoided during the COVID pandemic. She argued that people in Switzerland should talk more openly about their feelings and ask: “How are you, really?”

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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