WHOOP recently launched the stress monitor function, which helps users track their stress levels throughout the day by measuring their heart rate and HRV and comparing that to your baseline, which delivers a score between 0-3. The stress monitor also offers science-backed breathing techniques to help manage it.
To help launch this campaign, WHOOP undertook a study with a series of UK-based holders of the most stressful jobs, using their stress monitor data to track their most stressful parts of their day and see how this impacts them on a day-to-day basis.
Over the last month WHOOP has been testing individuals from 9 of the most stressful professions in the UK:
- Head chef
- Social worker
All of these WHOOP participants filled out weekly questionnaires which delved into their day-to-day lives, hours of work, stress levels, specific responsibilities at work, how they manage their stress and how much of an impact their work has on their mental health.
The main findings were that from the questionnaires, the two most stressful jobs were the nurse and social worker.
The WHOOP Stress Monitor is able to give users a real-time stress score between 0 and 3 by measuring your heart rate and HRV and comparing that to your baseline. WHOOP also limits the impact exercise can have on your stress score by taking your motion into account, so you can understand whether you’re actually stressed or just exerting yourself physically.
Despite other jobs being high stress at times e.g. lawyer – these two jobs had a high mental strain on workers which impacted their mental health outside of their workplace.
Some key examples of areas of high stress experienced by the two most stressful jobs were as follows:
Nurse: “discussing difficult outcomes of a patient with their next of kin- extreme sadness expressed by the relative, which made me feel very stressed”
Nurse: “A patient withdrawal (death), patient acute deterioration and having to respond to that emergency, difficult family discussions”
Social worker: “Feeling unsupported, asking for help and not receiving it, trying to plan ahead and imputing boundaries but these being questioned and not respected my management, high workload, working with high risk parents, a lot of travelling around London due to visit and 3 days in court”
Social worker: “A period of very intense work looming which is making me feel anxious, high risk situations, lots of paperwork, not having sufficient time to reflect and process difficult conversations, being misunderstood at work, trying to raise my point and not being listened to”
Pilot: “Changing sleep schedules was quite stressful. Long days, due to delays, that caused me to get into bed very late, before having to be up early over the next couple of days”
Some additional quotes and examples of how work impacted their mental health outside of some of the participants’ jobs were as follows:
Nurse: “I had to deal with two deaths a couple of weeks ago which are still lingering/stressing me out and work made me feel quite anxious and depressed this week”
Nurse: “work made me feel very anxious. i had a panic attack during training which lasted 5 min. And had poor sleep.”
Social worker: “I felt low and overwhelmed on Tuesday, so didn’t go to my gym class and ended up using a lot of my own time to work more. I also felt down and tearful on Sunday with the prospect of work on Monday”
Social worker: “Cried one day, lacked motivation, did not want to go to social events due to feeling stressed and overwhelmed”