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Las Vegas First Among Most Stressful U.S. Cities

Should "Sin City" be renamed "Stress City?"

Yes, according to Forbes magazine, which released its ranking of America's Most Stressful Cities this week.

Major metropolitan areas certainly provide residents with access to the fun things in life -- sporting events, good food and culture. But with high unemployment rates, limited access to health care and long work hours, some major cities are just as likely produce increased anxiety levels.

Most tourists flock to Vegas to forget the pressures of daily life and let loose. Ironically, the city's inhabitants happen to live in the most stressful city in America. Las Vegas' 24-hour tourist-based lifestyle requires employees who work round-the-clock. Those inundated with troubles fill the Stress Management Center, complaining that irregular work hours cause tension in their home lives. And while exercise can improve physical health and lower stress levels, the desert heat limits residents' exercise options to indoor activities. In addition, the recession and housing crisis hit Las Vegas' population hard, giving it an unemployment rate of 14.5 percent.

To create its list, Forbes factored in unemployment rates, long commute times, long working hours, limited health care, poor physical health and low exercise rates.

Los Angeles followed Las Vegas, with 22.8 percent of Angelinos reporting less-than-good health, weakening Southern California's reputation for sunshine and healthy living.

Houston, Texas came in third. While the city has a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the U.S. and its residents are relatively healthy, Houstonians work longer than people in any other city on the list, with an average 41.2 hour work week.

Tampa, Fla. and Riverside, Calif. followed at fourth and fifth place, with poor physical health and the second-highest unemployment rate respectively.

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