The Study

"TAKEAWAY TRAUMA" IS RECOGNISED AS AN ACTUAL CONDITION

THE stress of ordering and waiting for a takeaway can bring out the worst in all of us, but today it’s been identified as an actual condition, Takeaway Trauma, following scientific research.

  • University study proves ordering a takeaway causes both physiological and psychological effects
  • Late delivery, constantly checking apps, the wrong order arriving and disappointing quality all contribute to Takeaway Trauma
  • The condition can be identified as four stages: Fidgety, Anxious, Irate and Lost

A University of Wolverhampton study, in partnership with Chicago Town, found that the average heart rate increased from a baseline or relaxed 70 BPM to 87 BPM in the period following ordering a pizza, while tense arousal scores - or stress levels - saw an increase with the length of time that participants waited for an order from a baseline 17.25 to 18.38 BPM.

The experiment by the University’s biomedical sciences department involved participants ordering and waiting for a takeaway pizza while wearing heart rate monitors to measure pulse fluctuations, as well as monitoring stress levels using the psychometric questionnaire and the UMACL - UNWIST Mood Adjective Checklist - which measures tense arousal scores.

Behavioural Expert Darren Stanton, who analysed the results of the experiment, classified the condition in four stages: fidgety, anxious, irate and lost.

Following the initial joy and excitement of placing an order, people enter the fidgety stage around five minutes after. This is characterised by finger-tapping, toe-tapping and starting to check the takeaway’s app for updates on the arrival time.

Around 10 minutes after ordering, anxiety starts to creep in. Checking the app and becoming frustrated when delivery time creeps up are symptoms of this stage.

As stress levels increase further, circa 40 minutes after ordering, a lack of clear communication, the tardiness of deliveries, curtain twitching and the driver going the wrong way heightens emotions and results in a state of being visibly irate, with loved ones often bearing the brunt of this.

The final stage is one of absolute despondency. Frequently after waiting for a long time – around 50 minutes - the wrong order arriving or the food being of a disappointing quality makes people feel lost. During the experiment, participants had a lower heart rate than when they initially ordered, contradicting expectations that they would feel joy upon receiving the pizza they had waited for.

Dr Martin Khechera, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We’ve all seen friends, partners and, if we’re honest, even ourselves get antsy and annoyed during the process of ordering a takeaway. However, it is a surprise to see that the experience has a real impact on stress levels and our heart rate.” 

Darren Stanton said: “People order a takeaway as a treat – a way to reward themselves after a long week at work and to enjoy a relaxing night in with loved ones. This study shows that it can be the opposite of this. However, with the four stages we’ve identified as fidgety, anxious, irate and lost, it’s easy to recognise the symptoms of Takeaway Trauma, so we can help others suffering from the condition.”

Rachel Bradshaw, Senior Brand Manager at Chicago Town said: “It was really interesting to work with the University of Wolverhampton and Darren on this experiment. Both the physiological and psychological effects clearly demonstrate that Takeaway Trauma is real, and we’ll all identify with the various stages having gone through them ourselves.

“A much more satisfying alternative would be to pop a Chicago Town The Takeaway pizza in the oven at home. With its unique dough rising before your eyes, the freshly-baked pizza delivers a real, takeaway taste straight from your freezer in just 20 minutes – which never disappoints.”

The experiment was carried out at the University of Wolverhampton on 26 April 2018 by Dr. Martin Khechara.

  • 87 BPM Increased heart rate from 70 BPM following ordering a pizza

  • 10 MINS Time it takes before anxiety begins to creep in

Are you Suffering from FAIL ?

Check out the symptoms

Fidgety

Anxious

Irate

Lost

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