i have never posted anything on any forum before so I hope I am doing it right.
I have been using a wrist fitness tracker that monitors my heart rate, heart rate variability and sleep. The bit that interests me most is the “body battery” and “stress” measures. I was pretty sceptical to start with but I have found that I cope much better with stressful situations when my “body battery” is high. When it is low I am best to have some quiet time. It has also been useful to look back and see when I have been most stressed.
I am on the autistic spectrum myself and work with adults with intellectual disability and autism. I am thinking that this has potential to be be really useful.
Has anyone else found a fitness tracker useful for monitoring how stressed or how run down they are?
MMMmm. Interesting. Out of interest, which fitness monitor do you use?
It’s a Garmin Vivosmart 4.
How does that work? I'm stressed to bursting right now but my heart rate is normal? I also have CFS so I sleep lots but never feel recharged. I also can accidentally/be forced to push though and use too much energy so I sleep for days after - how can this be measured on the go without blood tests or other lab tests?
The “body battery” measure seems to be based mainly on something called heart rate variability. When there is lots of adrenaline in the body the heart beats very regularly like clockwork. When there isn’t so much adrenaline there is more variation between each beat as it reacts to changes in the body like breathing in and out.
So it’s not about the heart speeding up when you are stressed or slowing when you are resting.
i find that my heart often does go faster when I am really stressed but this doesn’t seem to be what the “body battery” measure is about.
I am really not sure if this is just a gimmick that helps them sell fitness trackers, but I have found it helpful and wondered if anyone else had any experience with using it.
I'm not very convinced - sounds like a sales gimmick to me - very difficult to prove if it's working because the buyers of these things seem to want to believe.
I remember reading awhile ago an article about this being tried with autistic children to work out stress triggers and such there was alot of positive information gathered but I don't know what happened after the study
I have a hunch that there is some value in using the data provided by fitness trackers. Anything that can help us track stress levels is a good thing, especially if you're not naturally aware of your stress levels.
When I suffered a huge burnout in 2017, I dug into the historic resting heart rate data from my Fitbit, and noticed it was climbing over the month leading up to me going on sick leave and then fell massively; indicating (I'm assuming) stress that I wasn't particularly in touch with at the time.
It's not simple though, as Plastic said sometimes I feel stressed and look at my tracker and my heart rate is normal.
I find the more "processed" metrics difficult to work with, as my brain wants to know the underlying formula / algorithm before I can trust the measure. But something as simple as heart rate and resting heart rate can surely help us know ourselves better.
Here is one article about it www.forbes.com/.../
I found the article on Forbes I think. “Wearable for kids helps avoid predict meltdowns”
People have been using wrist trackers to measure stress in kids with autism so that they know when they are at most risk of meltdowns. I think this has real value, particularly for people like me who are not too aware of their own stress levels. In people with a learning disability and autism maybe a carer could check the app on their phone to see how the person they are caring for is coping with things.
Some more links:
Forget counting steps: Reveal fitness tracker records stressors for autistic kids:www.digitaltrends.com/.../30 Days with the @Healbe GoBe2 Health/Fitness Tracker (Review):www.theautismdad.com/.../Forget Counting Steps, Meet Reveal Fitness Tracker, Especially For Kids With Autism:mumcentral.com.au/.../