< Back to all articles Share this article Wednesday October 14th, 2020 The Role of EKG in Stress Management What is Stress? Stress is the body’s physical reaction to real or perceived threat situations, which induces what is colloquially referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ reflex. Whilst it is commonly recognised that stress can take a mental and physical toll on the body, many studies now highlight the damaging effects that stress can have on the cardiovascular system. The concept of physiological stress and its symptoms will be a revelation to most. In fact, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, stress levels in our modern society were at an all-time high and rising annually, a debilitating epidemic in itself. In 2018, 74% of UK adults felt so stressed at some point over the course of the year, they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. The Mental Health Foundation, 2020 An overwhelming figure that was only set to increase in the wake of COVID-19’s unprecedented arrival. Worryingly, 55% of people in the US have reported being more stressed in May than January. A fear for one’s safety, the health of close friends and family, a loss of work, financial difficulty and isolation/boredom were all to blame for this dramatic escalation. With frequent episodes of stress come frequently elevated blood sugar and blood pressure, two conditions which are well-known contributors to cardiovascular disease. Additionally, the University of Rochester Medical Center stated the unhealthy practices often associated with stress including: smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and over-eating, can cause artery damage and a build-up of plaque, ultimately increasing the risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack. As this period of anxious uncertainty continues, we must learn to recognise and manage our physiological stress. B-Secur’s HeartKey® continuously monitors your EKG and derives a quantitative measurement of your current stress state, enabling you to understand your body’s true state and take appropriate actions.