Measuring Physiological Stress Using Heart-Related Measures
Stress is an emergency response of our organism. Although stress may be necessary in case of life threatening situations, most of the stress experienced by modern day human is misplaced, and spur from evolutionary pressure that is not relevant in our societies. Finding ways to monitor, control, and reduce stress has become critical for the well-being of human societies. For the purpose of developing real time applications to assess and reduce stress for the general public using portable devices, we designed an experiment to trigger stress in laboratory conditions. Our results show that we successfully induced stress and that heart-related measures such as heart rate, heart rate variability and spectral estimation based on heart beats were reliable indicators of stress.
We wish to thank Arnaud Delorme for his assistance on experimental design and data analysis. We also wish to thank Winnie So for collecting all the data.
Conflict of Interest
The authors are previous or current employees of NeuroSky and may be entitled to stock options as part of the standard NeuroSky benefits package. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 3.S. S. Dickerson, M. E. Kemeny, “Acute stressors and cortisol reactivity: a meta-analytic review,” Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 54, pp. 105–123, 2002.Google Scholar
- 5.N. Hjortskov, D. Rissén, A. K. Blangsted, N. Fallentin, U. Lundberg, K. Søgaard, “The effect of mental stress on heart rate variability and blood pressure during computer work,” European Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 92, no. 1–2, pp. 84–89, Feb., 2004.Google Scholar
- 7.T. G. Vrijkotte, L. J. van Doornen, E. J. de Geus, “Effects of work stress on ambulatory blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rate variability,” Hypertension, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 880–886, Apr. 2000.Google Scholar
- 8.L. Tonello, F. B. Rodrigues, J. W. Souza, C. S. Campbell, A. S. Leicht, D. A. Boullosa, “The role of physical activity and heart rate variability for the control of work related stress,” Front Physiol., vol. 21, no. 5, article 67, Feb. 2014.Google Scholar
- 9.R. Orsila, M. Virtanen, T. Luukkaala, M. Tarvainen, P. Karjalainen, J. Viik, M. Savinainen, C. H. Nygård, “Perceived mental stress and reactions in heart rate variability–a pilot study among employees of an electronics company,” Int. J. Occup. Saf. Ergon, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 275–283, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 10.M. Walser, R. Fischer, T. Goschke, C. Kirschbaum, F. Plessow, “Intention retrieval and deactivation following an acute psychosocial stressor,” PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 12:e85685, De. 2013.Google Scholar
- 11.N. P. Bobra, Z. Wang, W. Zhang, A. Luo, “A high-quality, low-energy, small-size system-on-chip (SoC) solution enabling ECG mobile applications,” in Proc. Industrial Electronics Society, IECON 2013 – 39th Annual Conference of the IEEE, Vienna, 2013, pp. 8406–8409.Google Scholar
- 12.R. Wilcox, “Modern statistics for the social and behavioral sciences: a practical introduction. CRC press, 2011.Google Scholar
- 13.M. P. Tarvainen, J. P. Niskanen, J. A. Lipponen, P. O. Ranta-Aho, P. A. Karjalainen, “Kubios HRV–heart rate variability analysis software,”, Comput Methods Programs Biomed., vo. 113, no. 1, pp. 210–20, 2014.Google Scholar