You are an individual. So is your physiology. You might not be a mainstreamer when looking at your physiology or psychological features. This is why the Moodmetric measurement has been developed so that the measurement only compares to yourself.
Statistics refers to a range of techniques and procedures for making decisions based on data. They are important for instance when making predictions on public health. When talking about individual load and recovery, statistics might not lead to right conclusions. The Moodmetric measurement is not based on statistical data, only the reactions of your body count.
Reference data does not always give the answers
Reference data means statistics that is compiled over a large population and that is used to analyse a single value. Measurement result of one person is just a number. Its frequency and quality is evaluated based on how many matching values are found in the reference data. For instance, a man 165 cm tall might be considered short or tall depending whether he is compared against Norwegian or Korean men.
Height and weight are simple units, still also there can easily be interpretation errors. E.g. a body builder might be incorrectly classified as over-weight when just looking at the number on the weight scale.
Applying reference data has even bigger challenges when measuring a larger and less tangible matter. When studying load and recovery of an individual, might generalizations fit a person poorly. For instance, individual limits for heart rate can’t be determined just based on age. Someone might recover after hard training by jogging. For someone else this does not work, but recovery happens by listening to music. A person is not an average.
The Moodmetric measurement compares your result to your own limit values
The Moodmetric measurement result is not compared to reference data. This means that you are not asked for your age, gender or exercising habits and to use those to choose a suitable reference group. Your data is not compared to any value X that is assumed to be a reasonable average for you.
The Moodmetric measurement is built up differently. At first the measurement looks for the maximum and minimum reaction of the person and sets these as limit values. After this, the measured values are continuously compared to these limits.
High levels compared to own normal signify mental load, low levels recovery. The Moodmetric data tells about the balance between load and recovery just for you, and the measurement only compares to yourself.
The Moodmetric measurement data is completely individual and thus very motivating. It helps in making better decisions for your own well-being instead of comparing yourself to others.
It possible to burn out of a dream job. For years you gave all your energy and full passion to the work, you thought you could carry on forever. Suddenly you find yourself at home, on a sick leave, with no idea when you will be capable of returning to work. How did this happen?
This fourfold is familiar to many psychologists but it is new to combine with physiological measurements. Did you know that you can measure your position on this map of workplace wellbeing?
The two-dimensional view of workplace wellbeing
Workplace wellbeing has two axes. The vertical axis represents stress/activation. The amount of activation increases when going upwards along the axis. Here it is not yet known what the mood is.
The vertical axis shows whether the mood is positive or negative. On the left hand side are the negative feelings, on the right hand side the positive. Neutral is in the middle. (Neutral is also a totally okay mood at work!)
Which segment are you in?
Everyone can reflect their own wellbeing with the help of this field. The segments of it are explained below. Read and think where you find yourself in your work or studies.
At the upper right corner your employer thinks you are at the right spot. Also many employees, entrepreneurs and students think that this is the one and only place to be. Employees who show high engagement level are emotionally and mentally connected to their organization, work harder, stay longer, and motivate others to do the same.
At the lower right corner there is less speed and and energy, but the feeling is good. A typical day can reside here for many of us. Often it is focus and concentration that makes us productive, without running ahead full speed. Working from home is often a way for better focus. When did you last time work a full day without interruptions? How did it feel, what did you achieve?
At the upper left corner the negative feelings have taken over. Stress might already be getting chronic and the pressure is high. The job performance is still high but there can be feelings of anxiety and insufficiency. One might feel tired and have sleep and memory problems. Still the calendar is and stays full and whatever one does, it does not seem to be enough.
At the lower left corner the body has hit the alarm panic button. Reactions get mild or end up totally. It is hard to get anything done. Nothing feels fun or exciting, it is difficult to get up in the morning. Sleep disorders persist, and the short sleep gained does not refresh. Social relationships suffer, hobbies are left aside, it would be nice just to be alone.
The two-dimensional view of workplace wellbeing works outside the work, too
Did you reflect the above, the status of your own workplace wellbeing? Could you position yourself to one of the segments of this field?
Now do the same thinking to other aspects of life. Where are you as a family member, a friend, a member of a community? What things give you energy, which make you recover? Which activities bring you to the right, towards positive feelings?
Can one measure the dimensions of workplace wellbeing?
The Moodmetric data gives automatically your position on the vertical axis of the two-dimensional view of workplace wellbeing. The Moodmetric measurement is like a positioning system of your wellbeing.
There are not yet measurement devices that would in daily life tell what one feels. Facial recognition technologies can detect emotions, but they can not be used continuously and in long term. Thus the horizontal axis real-time position can currently only be determined subjectively.
The horizontal axis is important when estimating wellbeing of the person at work. The Moodmetric app Diary feature helps the user to weigh whether the feeling related to an event is positive or negative.
How to make a Moodmetric app Diary entry and how to view the entries at one glance?
Making a Moodmetric app Diary entry is easy. The phone calendar entries can be imported or notes can be added one by one. An entry can be done for any area of life. Below as an example, a workday:
All the Diary entries are collected to the Moodmetric app Analytics feature. The more entries one makes, the closer the look at one´s life. The entries are shown category by category at a two-dimensional view. The app positions the categories automatically at the correct spot based on the measured Moodmetric level and the self evaluated mood.
The Moodmetric Diary can be used to estimate own wellbeing at work, at leisure, during sleep or at any other important area of life.
The Moodmetric Analytics is an analogy of the two dimensional view of the workplace wellbeing. In addition, it makes the analysis and positioning automatically.
Are you interested in applications of the Moodmetric measurement?
The Moodmetric measurement is used for preventive stress management in companies. It is a tool for data based individual wellbeing. You can also get an overview of stress levels of a team or the entire organization. The Moodmetric smart ring is also widely used in research.
Do you have a specific use case in mind? Ask more, whether about workplace wellbeing or research.
Feedback plays a big role when we want to focus on our well-being. Measuring in real time shows our stressors and things that help us recover without a delay.
There are reports in media daily about work and study-related stress, burnouts and the increase of mental load, especially among knowledge workers. The focus is on what to do when stress has already become chronic. The act of balancing between mental load and recovery is yet to become an everyday task.
There are tools for companies and occupational health to gather objective, real-time data about an individual’s cognitive and emotional stress. They comprise an efficient method for preventing the build-up of stress when applied before the load gets too high.
The tool matters
If you want to develop your physics or are interested in physical recovery, activity meters are of service . They often measure pulse or heart rate variability.
Time pressure, anxiety and on the positive side excitement are cognitively and emotionally stressful conditions. There are ways to capture these.
The Moodmetric smart ring, worn as a normal ring, is a measuring device that gathers accurate information about cognitive and emotional stress, around the clock. The smartphone app shows real-time data. Measuring in real time motivates to pay attention to one’s choices affecting mental well-being every day.
Why is it important that the measuring happens in real time?
We all need feedback. The most effective is instant feedback that makes us see the cause and effect, better realizing the connection between what we did and what was the outcome.
Real-time measurement also catches our attention and encourages us to try out things that might affect the result. For example, how fast does my stress level go down if I breathe deeply for 5 minutes in front of an open window?
Let’s say a meeting lasts from 2pm to 3pm. The topic is inspiring, the participants throw in new ideas, decisions are made. A person wearing the Moodmetric ring follows her stress levels during the meeting and sees them fluctuating between 45 and a full 100. Alternatively she gives a glance at the app after the meeting. The numbers show that the stress levels were high. And because the feeling was positive, she concludes that this was a meeting inducing positive stress. She knows that recovery is important also from excitement and takes a moment to relax in a quiet space before the next meeting. The sympathetic nervous system calms down, both the body and mind get a moment of rest.
A long enough period of uninterrupted measuring, roughly two weeks, provides reliable data of the amount of mental load the person is experiencing. It contains a good number of different kinds of days, where one exceptional day does not significantly affect the big picture.
The Moodmetric measurement tells about the amount of mental load
The right metric helps to increase self-understanding and tells where the personal boundaries for high and low stress reside. Objective data, namely a clear number is a decision-making tool and a call for action: “After a day at the office, is it better for me to go jogging, or just for a walk along the scenic route?”
Measuring devices can be used continuously or periodically until the person feels that their control over the issues causing mental load has improved.
A two-week Moodmetric measurement period is sufficient to provide the user with and understanding of their stress levels
The Moodmetric smart ring gives real-time information on what increases and what decreases mental load during day and night. It supports the wearer in finding the optimal balance between emotional and cognitive stress versus recovery.
A two-week Moodmetric measurement period is sufficient to provide the user with an understanding of their stress levels. If the levels are normal, the measurement can be repeated in, say, a year. If the levels are very high, it is advised to discuss with a healthcare professional about the data and make your own assessment of the load and its causes, both at and off work.