Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Unique data on stressful situations: new approach combines
social and health studies
A study within SalWe’s Mind and Body ...
interviewed. They were surprised at the situations that
produced their highest and lowest stress levels. The
study indicat...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Unique data on stressful situations: new approach combines social and health studies

576 views

Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Unique data on stressful situations: new approach combines social and health studies

  1. 1. Unique data on stressful situations: new approach combines social and health studies A study within SalWe’s Mind and Body Programme used Firstbeat heart rate monitoring equipment to record how stress and recovery manifest themselves in everyday living. The researchers explored aggregate stress rather than focussing on the individual. “The group of 36 busy city people participated in the study. The group could be divided into two categories: some were interested in health while others paid no active attention to it. They were studied for just over a week using Firstbeat heart rate monitoring equipment. At night they wore Vivago sleep monitors,” says research professor Mika Pantzar of the National Consumer Research Centre. Additional data was obtained with an Android phone and a GPS locator. “It was an unusual and difficult study that depended on having suitable equipment and people willing to participate. It would have been far harder to carry out in any country other than Finland.” Stress peaks outside the workplace “We wanted to study the aggregate stress levels of the 36 subjects, not the states of stress experienced by individuals. Personal stress data was combined and we examined the group rhythms that were revealed.” To augment the stress data, group members were SalWe - Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in Health and Well-being
  2. 2. interviewed. They were surprised at the situations that produced their highest and lowest stress levels. The study indicates that the heart and the mouth speak different languages. “The results show that people busy at work do not in fact experience the greatest stress at work but in their leisure time. The spikes in stress came at eight in the morning, three in the afternoon and, highest of all, at eight in the evening. This suggests that the most stressful moments are when future courses of action are being prepared,” Mika Pantzar says. The findings were very consistent. The only background variable that corresponds to different personal stress levels is the amount of physical activity. “People who actively train and work out experience declining levels of stress during the working day while those who do less exercise do not. The quality of sleep is also affected by a very small amount of alcohol, which many found surprising.” The researchers want to avoid broad generalisations and point out that the group studied is far from representative of Finland as a whole. nitive researcher. Finnish companies participating in the study were Firstbeat Technologies, Valio, Vivago and VTT Technical Research Centre. “StudioMind developed an interface for analysing the data that was collected, which enabled us to compare personal stress and recovery. The interface will be available for future studies, and StudioMind aims to commercialise an analysis tool.” Mika Pantzar predicts that, within 5–10 years, using physical measurements in this way will be commonplace when social scientists study connections between stress, spending and health. Physical activity and stress 140 130 120 110 100 • Less physically active • Physically active 90 80 8 am 3 pm 8 pm Stress during a week 70 60 50 Social scientists and equipment Mika Pantzar underlines the unique approach used in this study. 40 30 10 0 “It is unusual for social scientists to use equipment and to work together in a six-member research team. They tend to work alone but the way this study was arranged required the input of more than one researcher. The SalWe Mind and Body Programme brought very unlikely partners together.” Pantzar, an economist, worked with Minna Ruckenstein, an anthropologist, and Veera Mustonen, a cog- • Saturday • Sunday • Weekday 20 8 am 3 pm 8 pm More information Mika Pantzar research professor National Consumer Research Centre mika.pantzar@ncrc.fi +358 400 490 791 SalWe - Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in Health and Well-being

×