New fitness trackers are gradually monitoring above and beyond that of activity and sleep; they are now also able to tell when people are getting stressed out. Most of these stress trackers work by either tracking electro dermal activity, more commonly known as galvanic skin response, or measuring the changes in the interval between heartbeats, more commonly known as heart rate variability.
Identify stressful things and situations
One of the goals for stress trackers is to help wearers identify things and situations that trigger stress reactions in them, so that they can take note of it. “Noticing stress can help people cultivate a more mindful attitude toward their bodies, which could have practical benefits. Reducing stress can improve people’s health,” said Frederic Shaffer, the head of the Center for Applied Psychophysiology at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. By identifying people, places or activities that stresses them out, they could change their habits and potentially reduce the stress they face.
Manage and reduce stress
Stress is a huge problem in today’s society; Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated stress costing the American industry more than $300 billion yearly. And by tracking stress, the wearer would be possible to find out what causes his stress, and he would then be able to take steps to manage it before it worsens and potentially affect his health in the long term.
Be more sensitive and understanding towards others
Monitoring and understanding what makes the user stressed out can make him more sensitive to what other people are going through. Robert Goldberg of Neumitra said that looking at the fever chart of someone with an anxiety disorder or anyone with a stressful profession or life “really starts to open your eyes to being empathetic about what people are experiencing”. Likely, a wearer of stress trackers would be able to understand how the other person must have felt when he was feeling stressed out by the circumstance and empathise with their situation.
Issues and problems associated with stress can impact an individual’s behaviour, mood and body. When left unchecked, it can lead to health problems in the long term, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
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