As engineers, we understand that stress comes with the job. However, it can be detrimental to your health, and it is not just limited to engineers. In fact, almost everyone is facing stress in one form or another these days, and it can severely affect not only your performance but your long-term health as well. That is why, properly managing it is crucial.
According to a 2013 research, stress can even affect the efficiency with which you are able to control your emotions. A team of researchers from John Hopkins University has also stated that children who are exposed to chronic stress have a higher probability of becoming a victim of mental illness. So, how do you ascertain how stressed you are? That is where a research team from the University of Cincinnati comes in with a newly developed test that can help you measure how stressed you are by making use of some very useful information.
The test can easily measure the common stress hormones by utilizing saliva, urine, blood, or sweat. The goal of this test is to have a test for stress that can be done at home, thus enabling patients to monitor their own stress levels and take measures to keep it low. As per Andrew Steckl, an Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of electrical engineering at UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, ‘I wanted something that’s simple and easy to interpret. This may not give you all the information, but it tells you whether you need a professional who can take over.’
The gadget that has been developed by the researchers relies on ultraviolet for measuring the stress hormones in a drop of blood, sweat, urine, or saliva measuring the stress biomarkers present in the fluids. The device is capable of measuring more than one biomarker actually.
Prajokta Ray, UC graduate and study’s first author, said, ‘Stress harms us in so many ways. And it sneaks up on you. You don’t know how devastating a short or long duration of stress can be. So many physical ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and neurological or psychological disorders are attributed to stress the patient has gone through. That’s what interested me.’
What do you think? Will having a device that can help you measure stress, enable you to manage your stress better?