Garmin Stress Level Feature shows interesting Influenza Data!
Never in my life was I expecting a Garmin Activity Tracker to show this kind of information, but it did. My wife recently came down with the Influenza virus and her Garmin Fitness Tracker was providing the live data to back up exactly how she was feeling. This is amazing technology.
If you are like me and the millions of other people, you probably wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker, most likely a Fitbit or an Apple Watch. Over the years, I have tested quite a bit of Smartwatches / Activity trackers from brands like Polar, Jawbone, Fitbit, Garmin, Timex and more. I guess you can say there's a perk working for a company that sells fitness gadgets. I get to test the newest models in order to know how they work so I can help customers choose a model that meets their needs.
Recently my wife started using a Garmin Fenix Running Watch a high end Running / Outdoor Smartwatch that has way more features than she could ever use. She is a recreational runner, far removed from running a marathon or even a 1/2 marathon at this point. She runs simply for pleasure and to live a healthy lifestyle. I'm sure she could write a really awesome review on the look, style, and function of this watch from the fitness perspective because she absolutely loves it, but unless you are an outdoor trail runner, hiker, the Fenix5 is most likely overkill for 97% of you. However, this article is not about reviewing this high end running watch, it is a cool feature by Firstbeat that can be found select Garmin models like the Fenix 5.
On Jan 25th, 2018, my wife started her day as any other routine work day. That morning she did notice her Garmin Fenix 5 needed charging, so she plugged it in and left for work (showing lack of data on the graph below). Midday through the workday she started to feel fatigued, I remember that day because she called me and told me she was feeling under the weather and to be prepared for sickness to hit the household. When she arrived home from work that evening she grabbed her Garmin from the charger, not because she was going out for a run, but to use the sleep tracking feature. As the evening progressed her symptoms got worse, aching back and leg pain, fever, and cough. I immediately thought she had the Flu and this was gonna hit everyone in the household. If you know my wife, she is not a person to take medications, she feels masking her symptoms is not healing and pushing through the pain is a form of healing properly. After a rough night, the next morning she decided to take the day off and stay in bed. As boredom set in, she started to look at her Garmin Connect App on her iPhone and noticed this new Stress Details feature she had not noticed in the past. The data Garmin was providing about her current state of well-being fascinated her.
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So what exactly did we uncover here and how can it help me in normal day to day? I'm not exactly sure how to answer that just yet, but I am very intrigued by this technology and will be personally monitoring my stress on a daily basis to see what triggers fluctuations in it.
In Fitness Training, there is a saying "Listen to your Body". In a non-fitness lifestyle, we say "don't stress over it" or "You're going to give yourself a heart attack", but how often do we listen to that advice and slow down & relax? While I cannot guarantee this product for any medical monitoring or it can prevent, it is quite fascinating that it showed me what my wife was feeling during her influenza illness, and this has me intrigued for what I may uncover in my own stress monitoring.
About the technology:
- Discover how your body responds to life’s challenges
- Identify key moments of stress and rest throughout the day
- Guide health and lifestyle decisions based on scientific insight
- Work towards balance for enhanced personal well-being
Recognizing which of these systems is dominant and the degree to which it is dominating unlocks the ability to see and understand the very personal way in which your body is experiencing and responding to the many challenges of life and environment.