Stress is a factor in the lives of everyone, and in small doses it can actually be a good thing. The problem is that many people experience prolonged stress, which can lead to a variety of unhealthy outcomes. As a matter of fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, stress costs the American economy about $300 billion dollars a year related to stress and conditions aggravated by stress. There’s really no doubt that something needs to be done to help people better manage their stress levels . In this piece, we’re going to talk about these costs and what causes them, then we’re going to touch on how wearable and mobile devices that track stress can help people effectively manage their stress and improve their overall health.
Stressing the Importance of Good Health
Many people go to the doctor citing stress as the symptom, but in many cases, stress can also be a cause or aggravator of a variety of conditions. A quick look at some of the conditions suspected to be worsened by stress can lead to very startling realizations about the importance of stress management. For example, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, obesity, and depression can all be caused or worsened by stress. Not only that, stress has also been linked to accelerated aging, chronic headaches, fatigue and muscle pain.
Stress in the Workplace
Americans are working longer hours than ever at jobs that are increasingly difficult. This has unfortunately led to a growing percentage of workers feeling stress and anger. 14% or respondents to a recent survey claimed they felt like striking a co-worker last year, while 18% claimed to have experienced threats or verbal intimidation. What’s more, studies have shown that almost 50% of Americans are stressed about potentially losing their jobs. This stress highlights another portion of the $300 billion dollar cost we mentioned earlier. Accidents, absenteeism, diminished productivity, and workers compensation awards, among other things, are costing employers money, as well as employees jobs.
Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Stress
Stress can create health issues that put strains on finances, which in turn can cause additional stress. This is why properly tracking stress levels is so important. While it’s not completely avoidable, stress is very much manageable. A wearable device that makes use of NeuroSky’s ECG technologies and powerful algorithms can help wearable and mobile device users better understand their stress, and offer effective solutions for dealing with it.
NeuroSky’s stress algorithms require a few pieces of information from the device user (age, sex, etc.) and an initial reading in a low stress situation to establish a baseline. From there, the data collected by wearable technology can chart and document stress levels. These charts can help the user better understand the factors associated with their stress, and when a person wearing a stress tracker can see exactly what is causing them stress, they can take steps towards removing those stressors from their lives or changing their habits.
The reality is that stress can not only cost people their health, it can also cost them a great deal of money. With a wearable stress tracker, consumers are better able to understand, and more importantly, better able to manage their stress levels. This can lead to positive changes in health and happiness, as well as greater financial security today and in the future.
For more information on the financial toll stress takes on the American economy and what we can do to combat it, download the free whitepaper, Enabling Accurate and Reliable Stress-level Measurements with ECG Technologies.