In a Year of Highs and Lows, the Fitbit Stress Symphony Showcases the Collective Stress of Ireland as an Emotive Score of Music

For many, 2020 has been a highly stressful year. In a recent survey conducted on behalf of Fitbit[1] 87 percent of Irish respondents admitted to experiencing stress this year either due to the news surrounding COVID-19 , their physical health or job concerns. Alongside this, two out of five (42 percent) of Irish respondents stated that 2020 has been the most stressful year of their life.

To help them manage their stress, 57 percent of Irish respondents stated that they have turned to music to help feel more relaxed this year and so we were inspired to create the Fitbit Stress Symphony. Designed to help people take a moment to reflect on the impact of the stress experienced this year, as well as revisiting the unexpected moments of joy, the emotive score helps make invisible stresses and forgotten pleasures of this unprecedented year visible.

What is the Fitbit Stress Symphony?

The Fitbit Stress Symphony enables people to experience an emotional journey through 2020. To create the score of music, Fitbit researchers looked at a combination[2] of deidentified and aggregated Fitbit data from users located in Ireland from 1st January to 6th September 2020 that assessed users average active minutes, sleep duration, and resting heart rate, as well as Ireland search trends and social media sentiment.

Renowned composer and conductor, Ben Palmer, and producer and sound designer, Aston Rudi, translated all of this data into an epic, emotive, and original composition. Recorded at the iconic Barbican Centre in London, in compliance with COVID-19 safety precautions, the score of music is a unique symphony, blending a powerful live 20-piece orchestra, courtesy of the Covent Garden Sinfonia conducted by Palmer, with an urban electronic sound from Aston.

Stress levels fluctuate, just like a piece of music, but unlike music, the impact of stress is often invisible and unconscious. Recognising stress is a key way to help you manage it more effectively and can positively contribute to your overall health and wellbeing.

Tools to help you manage stress

Understanding stress and how our body reacts to it is the first step in helping you manage stress before it becomes overwhelming. If unmanaged, the physical strain from stress can increase your risk of negative health effects such as headaches or sleeplessness.

With Fitbit Sense, our advanced health smartwatch, we are bringing new metrics to our users to help with stress management. We’re helping you better understand how stress impacts your body while also helping you learn how to track your responses to stress.

Track your body’s response on a daily basis with the all-new Stress Management Score to understand how your heart rate, sleep, and activity levels impact your physiological stress. It is a daily score that ranges from 1 to 100.[3]

–   If you receive a high score, it means we’ve detected that your body is showing fewer signs of physical stress, so you may consider taking on a new project or exercising.

–   If your score is low, it means we’ve detected that your body may be showing signs of stress, so you may want to give yourself a break—go to bed early or meditate.

Use the on-wrist EDA Scan app to measure your body’s response to stressors—by detecting small electrical changes on your skin—and combine this with 1 to 2 minutes (or longer guided) mindfulness session to try and reduce your body’s response to stress. 

After completing an EDA Scan session, track your stress with mood logging to show how your practice correlates with your mood over time, and recognise what types of activities or actions make you feel more relaxed. 

Take advantage of mindfulness tools and set a weekly mindfulness goal within the Fitbit app. Plus, if you’re a Fitbit Premium member,  you’ll get a deeper analysis of your Stress Management Score on Sense, recommendations to help manage stress, and access to even more mindfulness content.To support your health and wellbeing, we’re offering a 90-day free trial of Premium for new Premium users to help you stay active, sleep well, and manage stress.[4] Fitbit Premium uplevels your Fitbit experience, unlocking deeper analysis of your data and more personalized insights that connect the dots across your activity, sleep, and heart rate.

[1]  External research conducted by One Poll in November 2020 across 1,000 Irish adults (nationally representative).

[2]  The data used to create the score of music is a combination of: (i) Deidentified and aggregated Fitbit data from users located in Ireland from 1 January to 6 September 2020 assessing the average active minutes, sleep duration and resting heart rate (ii) search trends insights, (iii) social media sentiment and (iv) key news moments.

[3]  The components of your Stress Management Score include your exertion balance (gauging the ​impact of your activity on your body), responsiveness (looking at your heart rate, heart rate variability and electrodermal activity when using the EDA Scan app); and sleep patterns (assessing the impact of your sleep quality).

[4]   Fitbit Premium content & features subject to change. Valid payment method required. Cancel before free trial ends to avoid subscription charges. Free trial offer valid for new users only. See full terms & conditions here.

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