Lisbon Seems to Be One of the Most Stressful Cities to Drive in

Written By Manuel Poças

According to a test done by a car rental company, Lisbon is one of the most stressful EU capitals to drive in.

Results released last week from the study performed by the company DiscoveryCars concluded that Lisbon is the second most stressful EU capital to drive in.

In order to reach their findings, the company measured the heart rate of a sample of drivers in two different situations: at rest and during a 30 minute drive. The results were then sent to a doctor specialized in internal medicine (Adedeji Saheed) who compared them to the patterns of what are considered standard heart rates. Please note that, according to the data we are aware of, there is no specification of the sample that was used.

Lisbon, with its crazy rush hour, narrow streets, and steep hills, came in second place. Its stress rate, in accordance with the study, is 36. The Portuguese capital lost only to Oslo, which achieved a stress rate of 37.5.

In Lisbon, the heartbeat of the sample while driving was 104 bpm at its lowest point, and 134 bpm at the highest. Even though 134 bpm is considered to be within the interval that is considered to be normal, the doctor emphasized that anyone who exhibits heart rates at this level during daily activities should be aware of symptoms relating to cardiac malfunctions.

For those that live in Lisbon and are familiar with its rush hour, which, during the last years, increased, both in length and in density, the results of the study do not come as a surprise. Today, there are more cars on the street for longer periods of time. However, the results may not be 100% reliable.

As there are numerous factors that can affect someone’s heart rate, the sample could have been biased. One factor that could have influenced the results is chronic stress or anxiety. How many drivers showed abnormal heart rates prior to the test? Another factor could be the origin of the drivers. Were all drivers Portuguese, foreign, or was there a mix? If there was a mix, what was the percentage of national vs. foreign drivers? Were the Portuguese drivers used to driving in Lisbon or not? What was the sample used in other countries?

Uniformity and minimum bias are always a must. Hence, we say that Lisbon seems to be, and not that it is, one of the most stressful EU capitals to drive in.

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