DO I RE­ALLY NEED... A STRESS MON­I­TOR?

Daily Mail - - Good Health -

THIS week: PIP (thepip.com, £145) THIS de­vice has a sen­sor to de­tect elec­tri­cal changes in the skin that in­di­cate stress.

It is con­nected to an app on a mo­bile: if it de­tects stress, the app in­structs you to play games — you only move up to the next level of the game if the de­vice senses you have re­laxed.

This tech­nique, which is known as biofeed­back, teaches bet­ter con­trol of bi­o­log­i­cal func­tions.

EX­PERT VER­DICT: ‘I sus­pect PIP de­tects skin re­sponses sim­i­lar to those mea­sured in lie de­tec­tors,’ says Sir Cary Cooper, a pro­fes­sor of or­gan­i­sa­tional psy­chol­ogy and health at Manch­ester Busi­ness School. These changes oc­cur for a num­ber of rea­sons, in­clud­ing feel­ing un­der pres­sure, a healthy re­ac­tion that makes us work harder. But if this pres­sure be­comes ex­ces­sive then it’s known as stress, which can se­ri­ously af­fect health. ‘Stress and pres­sure will be picked up by PIP as they trig­ger sim­i­lar elec­tri­cal changes in the skin,’ says Sir Cary.

‘I’d be more con­cerned about what is caus­ing stress and this de­vice would not help ad­dress this. It’s more im­por­tant to iden­tify what is mak­ing you un­able to cope rather than just sim­ply try­ing to re­lax. ‘Biofeed­back only works while you’re look­ing at the screen and try­ing to im­prove.’

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