The Stress Test: Can a wearable really make you calmer?
The accelerometer inside your fitness tracker does a pretty good job tracking how many steps you take. You can determine your exact location with GPS and you can get a fairly accurate indication of your heart rate at any given time with a heart rate monitor too. But what about your stress levels, how mindful you are, your breathing and your emotional wellbeing?
Moves from Fitbit and Apple into the wellbeing and relaxation space suggest that a focus on our inner world will be a trend in wearable tech for 2017 and beyond. And it’s hardly surprising. Research suggests our collective stress levels are on the rise, as are instances of anxiety.
Due to the subjective nature of emotional states and the difficulty in tracking them, many have questioned the legitimacy of claims that a wearable can really have much of an impact on our mental wellbeing, as well as the accuracy of the data they collect. So, we wanted to put a few of them to the test in a real life setting, away from bold claims about relaxing us, calming images and promises of long-lasting wellbeing and into the hands of an often stressed, anxiety-ridden guinea pig. (That’s me!)