Have a piÃ±a colada and kick back - might as well join the crowd.
In case you haven't heard, Lawrence residents are living stress-free lives.
At least that is what a new book by Frommer's, one of the more respected and older travel guide publishers in the country, reports. The company's latest edition of "Cities Ranked & Rated" found Lawrence has one of the best "stress scores" in the country. That finding, along with strong scores in education, caused the authors to peg Lawrence as the 100th best metropolitan area in the country to live. That's up from 194 in 2004, when the rankings were last done.
The city was ranked against 372 other metro areas of all sizes.
"I think that is great for Lawrence," said Judy Billings, Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau director. "People do read those things. We may be able to use that and quote it in our marketing."
So, how did they determine that Lawrence is almost stress-free?
The stress score is a composite of eight factors designed to calculate a person's stress level. They are divorce rates, commute time, unemployment rates, crime rates, suicide rates, alcohol use rates, days feeling depressed and number of cloudy days.
Lawrence's stress score - on a scale of 0 to 100 - was a 5. The national average is 50. Other scores from the area were Topeka, 60; Kansas City, 87; and Wichita, 42.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Billings didn't get too excited about the stress score. She offered just a care-free laugh.
Instead, Billings said the city's ranking in the education category was more impressive. Lawrence ranked 18th in the country. The authors - researchers Bert Sperling and Peter Sander - examined a variety of factors ranging from the percent of residents with high school diplomas and college degrees to the amount of public spending on education.
"Education is definitely a good area to be near the top in," Billings said. "Families pay a lot of attention to the quality of the schools."
The book also ranks communities in nine broad categories.
Lawrence ranked above average in three categories: education, 18; transportation, 159; arts and culture, 184. The city was below average in Income, 208; crime, 212; cost of living 231; climate, 254; health and health care, 259.
Lawrence ranked the lowest - 313th - in leisure. The category looked at factors such as number of Starbucks, amusement parks and ski areas. But the authors admitted in a narrative portion of the book that perhaps they short-changed Lawrence a bit.
"Recreational assets are probably better than the statistics indicate," they wrote.
Oh well. Nothing to stress about. Right?