Wearables are zeroing in on stress.
The latest: Wearables maker WHOOP launched its Stress Monitor feature, a tool to actively gauge stress levels. Developed in partnership with Stanford neurobiologist Dr. Andrew Huberman, the feature coaches users through guided, stress-relieving breathwork protocols.
How it works: WHOOP’s wrist-worn strap tracks real-time heart rate variability (HRV) and resting heart rate metrics against 14-day baseline aggregates to deliver a personalized Stress Score.
When that score rises, users are instantly notified and referred to Huberman Labs-validated interventions, including cyclic hyperventilation (to increase alertness) and physiological sighing (to boost relaxation).
Of note, the readings are precise enough to delineate between physiological stress and physical strain, aka working out.
Stressed to the Limit
Chronic stress has become all too common, with 76% of adults reporting stress-related symptoms, according to the APA.
Seeking solace, more people are participating in mindfulness practices. But, absent real-time feedback, it’s hard to tell if protocols like meditation and breathwork actually work.
No sweat. Quantifying stress reduction, WHOOP’s push notification-style interventions want to tackle stress before it becomes a problem.
But, while its prescribed breathwork approach is unique, it’s far from the only wearable maker in the game.
From algorithmic approaches to cortisol-reading sweat sensors, stress tracking is becoming as ubiquitous as step counting.
- Using EDA sensors to track cortisol, NOWATCH delivers a real-time “state of being,” new Fitbits tap guided breathing, and Happy Ring’s mood monitor prescribes journaling.
- Garmin and Samsung made stress a standard metric across all trackers, using HRV and sleep scores to help users find balance.
- Baracoda’s BHeart factors energy output and biometrics into an index for mental resilience.
Doing something about it. Besides recommending deep breaths, other companies are taking a more reactive approach too — like Apollo Neuro’s wearable targeting soundwaves said to promote stress resilience and Muse’s EEG meditation headband.
Takeaway: Launching new features to keep an already loyal memberbase paying, WHOOP’s latest partnership is sure to resonate with high-performers seeking evidence-based strategies to excel.