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How stressed are you?

How stressed are you?

We want you to REALLY be able to measure stress.

Nicrs today announces the start of a new programme to accurately measure individuals’ stress. This uses a new process designed to combine quantifiable measurements with an individual’s own perception of feelings and wellbeing.

How is this being achieved? The National institutes for clinical research into stress (Nicrs - applies endocrinological technologies to the application of measuring stress - this new technique uses hormone sampling and analysis as its basis. Endocrinology is already well established and understood in other areas of clinical diagnosis, for example it is commonly used with identifying diabetes and in detecting changing cells in patients (early indicators for cancer).

Nicrs, the Oxfordshire-based psychology branch of the ELK Foundation registered charity, has researched and designed both the test suite and process, and its first programme of deployment commences in February 2012 in two locations. The sites chosen are in laboratories in Cambridge, UK and at a leading training hospital in Kochi, India. The first phase is expected to be over a period of 4 months during which the measurement process will be tuned.

In the UK stress is recognised as having a causal link to a wide range of illnesses, and is now the prime cause of sickness and absence from the workplace (CIPD). In other research, in 2010/11, an estimated 10.8 million working days were lost through work-related stress - every person experiencing work related stress was off work for an estimated 27 days – source Health and Safety Executive - HSE). As such it is estimated to cause a major annual loss to the economy and is an increasing cause of concern to businesses.

Similarly in India the massive growth of so called “Western Diseases” is a major issue – There is a burgeoning concern over physical symptoms such as cardiac issues, diabetes, obesity in addition to mental wellness, and these are being increasingly identified through absence from work. This is being tied to higher stress levels becoming more prevalent in India as the economy grows.

With this new programme however Nicrs predicts the possibility of a step-change in understanding of stress through the process of better measurement through quantitative techniques, and data analysis. This understanding and the better prevention and treatment of stress are key goals for the charity.


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