• Stephen H. Fairclough
  • Chelsea Dobbins


Mobile technology and wearable sensors can provide objective measures of psychological stress in everyday life. Data from sensors can be visualized and viewed by the user to increase self-awareness and promote adaptive coping strategies. A capacity to effectively self-regulate negative emotion can mitigate the biological process of inflammation, which has implications for long-term health. Two studies were undertaken utilizing a mobile lifelogging platform to collect cardiovascular data over a week of real-life commuter driving. The first was designed to establish a link between cardiovascular markers of inflammation and the experience of anger during commuter driving in the real world. Results indicated that an ensemble classification model provided an accuracy rate of 73.12% for the binary classification of episodes of high vs. low anger based upon a combination of features derived from driving (e.g. vehicle speed) and cardiovascular psychophysiology (heart rate, heart rate variability, pulse transit time). During the second study, participants interacted with an interactive, geolocated visualisation of vehicle parameters, photographs and cardiovascular psychophysiology collected over two days of commuter driving (pre-test). Data were subsequently collected over two days of driving following their interaction with the dynamic, data visualization (post-test). A comparison of pre- and post-test data revealed that heart rate significantly reduced during episodes of journey impedance after interaction with the data visualization. There was also evidence that heart rate variability increased during the post-test phase, suggesting greater vagal activation and adaptive coping. Subjective mood data were collected before and after each journey, but no statistically significant differences were observed between pre- and post-test periods. The implications of both studies for ambulatory monitoring, user interaction and the capacity of personal informatics to enhance long-term health are discussed.


The SELF Institute