press room

We're a clumsy nation - and multi-tasking women are clumsier than men

Scientific experiments identify multi-tasking among reasons for clumsiness – while third of Brits identified as clumsy

Posted on 02 Sep 2013

  • Women more likely than men to describe themselves as clumsy (41% v 25%)
  • Young people are four times as likely to feel nervous around the opposite sex leading to clumsiness
  •    (compared to over 55s).
  • Worcester is Britain’s clumsy capital (43% of people admit to being clumsy)

Britain is a nation of clumsy people – and women are more likely to be clumsy than men because of their natural tendency to multi-task, according to new research by leading price comparison site, which is launching a search for Britain’s clumsiest person.

A third of Brits admitted to being clumsy in the nationwide study, with four out of 10 admitting they’ve injured themselves because of clumsiness, and a further one in 20 admitting they’ve injured somebody ELSE due to their clumsy behaviour. Worryingly, around 2.7m people attending hospital accident and emergency departments seeking treatment every year due to accidents in the home.*

The research by involved a series of individual scientific experiments to monitor for clumsy traits and behaviour [see link: Britain’s clumsiest person] And it reveals that women are more likely than men to describe themselves as clumsy, although a key factor is women’s tendency to multi-task.

The research also shows:

  • Younger people are significantly more likely to be clumsy than their parents (49% of 18-24 year olds say they thought they were clumsy, compared to 32% of 35-44 year olds and just 25% of those 55+)
  • In the home, 20% of Brits have caused accidental damage because of clumsiness
  • Mobile phones, iPad-type tablets and carpet/upholstery are the items most likely to be damaged due to domestic clumsiness (15.75% of people admitted they had dropped and damaged a mobile or tablet, while 27.3% had spilled a drink on carpet/ upholstery in the last 12 months)
  • 41% of Brits say they are more clumsy when tired, either when they wake up in the morning or last thing at night

The findings have prompted to launch a search for the clumsiest person in the UK – which will also identify key causes of the nation’s clumsy behaviour, in the hunt for Britain’s clumsiest individual, be it man or woman.  To find out more visit: Britain’s clumsiest person.

Young people (18-24) are also FOUR times as likely to feel nervous – leading to clumsiness - around either the opposite sex compared to over-55s (19% v 4%) and two-and-a-half times as likely when talking to someone they find attractive (21% v 8%).

Regionally, people in Worcester are most likely to admit to being clumsy (42.9%), with 42.5% of people in Birmingham admitting the same - making Britain’s ‘second city’ also Britain’s second clumsiest city.  West Midlands neighbours in Wolverhampton, on the other hand, are Britain’s LEAST clumsy, with over seven out of ten residents claiming they are not clumsy. Meanwhile Portsmouth has the smallest proportion of self-confessed clumsy residents with just 22% identifying themsleves as a clumsy person.

Meanwhile people in York are most likely to have injured themselves through clumsiness, with over half (51.3%) admitting to it - while residents in Aberystwyth, Wales, are most likely to have injured SOMEONE ELSE through clumsiness (20.0%).

The Top 10 Clumsiest Cities and towns:
1. Worcester (42.9% of people admit to being clumsy)
2. Birmingham (42.4%)
3. York (41.0%)
4. Plymouth (40.3%)
5. Aberystwyth (40.0%)
6. Swansea (37.9%)
7. Liverpool (37.3%)
8. Leeds (36.8%)
9. = Leicester (36.4%)
9. = Gloucester (36.4%)

Dr. Harry Witchel, Discipline Leader in Physiology at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, East Sussex, conducted the series of experiments on men and women, to identify individual raw motor coordination, raw distractibility and raw planning. The experiments included everyday domestic tasks such as making breakfast - see the video here: Britain’s clumsiest person

He said: “There are three broad causes of clumsiness: poor decision making, insufficient concentration and poor coordination.  And while there is potential for these factors to affect both sexes, there is evidence to suggest a possible bias towards women when it comes to being clumsy.

“A key element of distraction is multi-tasking – something which women have a clear propensity for.  They are far more likely to multi-task than men, who prefer singular, intense focus on a task, and this role in society for women to multi-task can be identified as a reason why they are more likely than men to describe themselves as clumsy.

“Clumsy behaviour can clearly arise in all of us, and the key to avoiding it is good decision making and paying attention to one thing at a time.  Stay focussed, and try not to daydream – or you may find yourself walking into a clumsy situation without even knowing it.”

Gareth Lane, Head of Home Insurance at, added: “Accidents will happen – but it’s a sobering thought that millions of people are admitted to hospital every year because of clumsy behaviour in the home.

“And while we all have our clumsy moments, it’s important to understand the factors that can cause clumsiness, to help reduce accidents.”


Research details: 2,000 adults nationwide surveyed by OnePoll, July 2013; in addition, Dr Harry Witchel, Discipline Leader in Physiology at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, East Sussex, conducted scientific tests on individuals in Cardiff, August 2013.


For more press info, interviews or photos, contact Helen Campbell or Sarah Carlin, Illuminate Communications, 07551 005 877 or 07701 061 512

Media information

For more information, contact our media team -

If your enquiry is time-critical, please write 'URGENT' in your email subject line. 
If you would like a ring-back, please remember to include your telephone number. media team 

Laura Buchan - Head of PR     Tel: 02920 434 238
Sarah Wenham - PR Manager    Tel: 02920 434 275
Ben James - PR Executive     Tel: 02920 434 295

About is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, holiday insurance, pet insurance, small van insurance, motorcycle insurance, breakdown cover and gas and electricity, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides an, objective and unbiased comparison service. 
By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more.’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Press team contacts

For more information, please contact our press team.


If your enquiry is time-critical, please write "URGENT" in your email subject line. If you would like a ring-back, please include your telephone number. 

All the info you need - from our history to careers, and how we operate.

read more

Media library media

Download our logo or BRIAN resources for web and print. Watch our adverts too!

View more