Fitbit is launching a new stress-tracking tool for almost all of your existing fitness trackers and smartwatches, which will allow you to see how your body handles the pressures of your daily life. The new feature works by analyzing your sleep, activity levels, and heart rate, so it will only be available on devices with an optical heart rate sensor. That’s pretty much the entire line, but owners of the original Fitbit Inspire will miss it.
Stress tracking will also not be available on children’s devices, such as the recently launched Fitbit Ace 3. A child’s expected resting heart rate changes as they grow older, which is why the Ace series watches do not have a sensor (which has the added benefit of keeping the price low).
If you have a Fitbit Premium subscription, you can see a detailed overview of your stress patterns over time based on this data. Premium users also have access to various mindfulness sessions, including the recently introduced series of meditation sessions led by Deepak Chopra, which are regularly updated with new content.
It’s worth noting that this type of stress tracking is different than the Fitbit Sense, which was released last year. The Sense measures stress levels using a multi-path electrical sensor to monitor EDA (Electrodermal Activity) responses when you place the palm of your hand on the device. Sweating caused by an adrenal gland reaction makes your skin more conductive, resulting in more EDA responses.
It’s not perfect (EDA responses are affected by physical and mental stress), but it can be a helpful indication of your mental state.
You can then use the Fitbit app to see how these responses change based on factors such as sleep and activity, and record events throughout the day that may have affected your stress level (such as meetings at work). This knowledge can help you become more aware of events that are stressful to you and better handle them with mindfulness techniques.
Fitbit is working on this amazing new feature