Garmin customers have access to an app that notifies them when they are eating out of stress

Together with RAE Health, Garmin is taking part in research to investigate the relationship between stress and appetite. Participants will be sought from among those who own a Garmin gadget that is compatible with the activity. They will have access to a cutting-edge app that warns them of these potentially harmful eating habits before they begin to form them.

Stress may have both beneficial and detrimental effects.

The majority of people experience stress on a daily basis, but some are more susceptible to it than others. Some degree of stress is believed to be beneficial to one’s health. They have the potential to assist in enhancing the functioning of your heart and even fortify your immune system.

However, persistent stress is an issue that has to be addressed. In addition to a variety of other detrimental effects on your health, it seems to alter your tastes in food. This is due to the increased amounts of the hormone known as cortisol that are produced when one is under stress. Having this condition might lead to an increase in cravings for meals high in sugar and salt. They provide a straightforward and easy way, although a detrimental one, to make oneself feel better in the short run.

These days, the majority of Garmin fitness trackers and smartwatches have an all-day stress tracking feature. The measurements are not entirely accurate, but they do provide a reasonable approximation of the pressure that you are experiencing.

Readings of something called heart rate variability (HRV) are what Garmin uses to get these values. This refers to the variability in the amount of time that passes in between each beat of your heart. In a manner that is rather counterintuitive, the more irregular these beats are, the less stress you will experience.

Garmin organizes the stress measurements into one of four categories to make them more understandable to the user. If your result is between 0 and 25, this implies that you are at ease. Stress levels are considered to be low between the ages of 26 and 50, a medium between the ages of 51 and 75, and severe at any level over 75.

Scientists are beginning to make use of the vast amounts of data that are being dispensed by these gadgets.

Studying the relationship between stress and appetite

Garmin and RAE Health are conducting research together with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of stress cravings and the impact they have on the body. The current investigation is in fact an expansion of earlier investigations that RAE Health, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts and the University of Texas, had previously carried out.

The articles have been published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Science, so feel free to check them out if you’re interested. The Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal has several of these as well, among other places.

The data collected by Garmin will be utilized to extend the scope of these investigations. At first, participation in the study was restricted to owners of Vivosmart 4 devices, but the scope of the invitations has since been broadened. Participants are provided with access to a consumer version of RAE Health’s mobile application.

The software connects to your Garmin Connect stress data as well as other information and then spits out stress desire signals—frequently before they occur and before you are even aware of them yourself. At the very least, that is the plan. The software is equipped with a sophisticated biometric algorithm that will notify you in the event of any of these scenarios.

It is not hard to see this kind of capability becoming a part of the fitness applications that we now use, possibly as an additional feature that users can choose to use or disable. It is a fantastic illustration of making use of sensor technology that already exists in order to get more sophisticated insights.

In a recent interview that we had with Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, President and Co-Founder of Valencell, he said that he believes there is a lot of space for development in this field, especially in terms of employing current sensors for more in-depth research. Additionally, he anticipates that there will be an increase in the practice of “sensor fusion,” which is the practice of combining data from several sensor modalities in order to provide a physiological picture that is more thorough.

Instructions for taking part in the research

At first, participation in the research was being sought solely from those who had a Vivosmart 4 device. Since a wide variety of other Garmin wearables are also equipped to monitor stress, we were at a loss to explain why this one was chosen. Having said that, the Vivosmart 4 is an outstanding small piece of technology. The results of our analysis showed that it was an excellent choice for monitoring both light activity and restful sleep. It would seem that the application is now available for download on other devices, such as the Fenix 6, Venu, Instinct, Forerunner 945, and Forerunner 245 Music, among others.

You may sign up for membership in the RAE Health app via this page if you already own one of these and would want access to it. After clicking on the link, you will be sent to a survey that will take you two minutes to complete and must be done so before you can download the program.

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