Building a healthy body does not always make for a healthy mind, a survey has found.
The survey, by the Australian Psychological Society, found that 40 per cent of Australians are stressed about trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, with 14 per cent reporting it as a big stress-out.
Young adults were most stressed out about staying healthy, the survey found, with 52 per cent reporting stress linked to fitness, while 21 per cent of young adults nominated it as a substantial stress source.
Almost half of women (47 per cent) said trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle was a source of stress.
That compared with 33 per cent of men who said they were stressed as a result of trying to stay fit and healthy.
APS executive director Lyn Littlefield was not surprised that young people were especially stressed about trying to stay healthy.
"Many people in this age group will be dating and trying to find a long-term partner, so physical appearance is very important and it becomes stressful if they are not achieving a certain body image," Professor Littlefield said.
"Social pressures to fit in with peers who may drink alcohol or smoke also make it more difficult and stressful to maintain a healthy lifestyle."
Professor Littlefield said people often developed unhealthy habits that were built into their lifestyle and were tough to change.
"Psychological research tells us that making healthy lifestyle changes is a process requiring planning and preparation and strategies for maintenance," she said.