Time to relax with the StressWatch
By Jeff Salton
September 27, 2009
Most of us need a little bit of stress in our lives to operate effectively - the saying: “if it wasn’t for the 11th hour I'd never get anything done” rings true for many of us. But those with highly demanding jobs, or who live in stressful environments, know how damaging long-term exposure to stress can be. The StressWatch concept is intended as a stress-reducing device that provides a visual alarm for those sufferers who want to reduce the impact stress has on their health. In the past, Gizmag has witnessed a few stress-relieving devices like the HeartMath emwave PSR and the 'stress sensor vest' - it seems stress just won't leave us alone, so we better learn to deal with it.
Designed by Michael Mathis and Gerda Hopfgartner, the StressWatch is worn on the wrist and monitors heart rate and body temperature in real time. Measurements are taken from the lower part of the watch’s bracelet and displayed on the watch face in recognizable patterns, colors and a bar chart across the top of the watch. Data is then translated into relaxation guidelines and displayed in real time.
For instance, if the display shows sprinted waves in warm colors and the stress bars are full you need to put your ‘de-stress’ plan into action – which might include finding your optimal breathing rate, concentrating on slowing down your heart rate, even ‘going to your happy place’.
When your stress levels alter you will literally see a change in the graphic chart – smooth waves and cool colors and the stress bars reduced.
The StressWatch can also be a good visual alert for partners of ‘stress-heads’, too. When the colors heat up, maybe it’s time to suggest to your loved one that you’ll hold the baby, or to your business colleague that you’ll work back to complete that tender submission.