The emergence of wearable sensors that allow for unobtrusive monitoring of physiological and behavioural patterns introduces new opportunities to study the impact of stress in a real-world context. This study explores to what extent within-subject trends in daily Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and daily HRV fluctuations are associated with longitudinal changes in stress, depression,
anxiety, and somatisation. Nine Dutch police officers collected daily nocturnal HRV data using an Oura ring during 15–55 weeks. Participants filled in the Four-Dimensional Symptoms Questionnaire every 5 weeks. A sample of 47 five-week observations was collected and analysed using multiple regression. After controlling for trends in total sleep time, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
and alcohol use, an increasing trend in the seven-day rolling standard deviation of the HRV (HRVsd) was associated with increases in stress and somatisation over 5 weeks. Furthermore, an increasing HRV trend buffered against the association between HRVsd trend and somatisation change, undoing this association when it was combined with increasing HRV. Depression and anxiety could not be
related to trends in HRV or HRVsd, which was related to observed floor effects. These results show that monitoring trends in daily HRV via wearables holds promise for automated stress monitoring and providing personalised feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2022


  • somatization
  • somatisation
  • resilience
  • wearable
  • wearables
  • Heart Rate Variability
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • mental well-being
  • police


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  • Relating daily HRV fluctuations to stress & somatisation

    de Vries, H., 14 Jan 2022

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