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How Does Stress Monitor Work in A Smartwatch? Is It Reliable?

How Does Stress Monitor Work in A Smartwatch?

Wearables have made some strides in monitoring how stressed we are. They have also monitored our stress levels, with Garmin, Apple, Fitbit, and Google on board. Stress can happen to all of us, whether from certain situations in our lives or just a hectic day at work.

But it can affect our health and lives, so stress detection and coping techniques are already prevalent in wearables. Wearables are also using these physiological measurements to offer us advice on how to cope with stress.

Stress has disrupted the lives of people these days. It is imperative to monitor the stress level to stay healthy and keep the mind calm. Many fitness bands and smartwatches have a stress monitoring feature that precisely measures your stress levels. The following article discusses how it works, how accurate it is, and the famous smartwatches with stress monitoring features.

What is stress level monitoring? Is it significant?

Stress is the physical or mental tension that negatively influences people’s minds and health. It is a human reaction that may arise from overthinking or worrying about something. The typical symptoms of stress are fatigue, headache, irregular sleep schedule, higher than normal blood pressure, heart disease, aging, obesity, etc. If an individual stays under stress for a prolonged period, it can severely influence their body and mind.

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Two kinds of hormones, cortisol, and Adrenaline, facilitate stress in the body. In situations of high stress, the Adrenaline hormone overflows into the veins. This causes the blood pressure and heart rate to increase suddenly. Moreover, the blood influx in the muscles increases the body’s glucose level. Also, the eyes’ pupil becomes broader.

According to the WHO, stress is an “Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century.” It is helpful to measure the stress level because it informs you to stay calm and unwind your body to prevent health concerns.

Working of Stress Monitor in smartwatches or fitness bands:

For a few years, fitness trackers have been used to measure stress levels depending on an abrupt rise in heart rate. But this practice was not precise because the heart rate can increase and decrease during a workout or while performing any activity.

Currently, most smartwatches employ Heart Rate Variability (HRV) technology to assess stress. HRV measures the difference in time between every heartbeat. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) of the body regulates this difference. It automatically regulates blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and breathing.

HRV is not identical to heart rate (BPM). A higher HRV is safe, whereas a lower HRV denotes stress, fatigue, and thirst. Certain smartwatches from the leading brands are implemented with dedicated sensors to identify the stress level.

For example, the Fitbit Sense comes with an Electro Dermal Activity (EDA) sensor, which detects stress through electrical variations in the skin’s sweat level. You must put your palm on the watch dial for two minutes to use this sensor. Also, it measures other health stats like workout activity, sleep, and heart rate to determine how much stress impacts your body.

How do smartwatches assist in decreasing stress?

All the smartwatches are implemented with the “Stress Monitoring” feature that includes a Breathing Exercise mode. This feature relaxes the body via extended breathing sessions. Ultimately, it reduces stress levels.

If the smartwatch has automatic stress monitoring, it automatically notifies you when your body has a high-stress level. Moreover, it will encourage you to perform breathing exercises to decrease stress.

Certain smartwatches help you choose the breathing exercise’s duration and intensity. Hence, when stressed, you can use easy breathing exercises with inhaling and exhaling stimuli to relieve your body.

Instead, you can carry out certain simple activities like watching positive content, going on a walk, drinking water, etc., to alleviate the stress. So, it calms your mind in stressful situations.

Do smartwatches reliably measure stress levels? How precise is it?

With constant technological evolution, smartwatches are implemented with the latest stress measurement methods like EDA and HRV. Most budget smartwatches are implemented with HRV instead of EDA due to cost.

As per specific reports, HRV can detect stress with 90% accuracy; the technology is constantly improving. Therefore, the stress level data on smartwatches is reliable to a fair amount.

Popular Smartwatches with Stress Monitoring Feature:

The following list discusses the best and most popular smartwatches that accurately monitor stress with the help of the built-in latest sensors. They are equipped with many advanced features too.

ImageProduct NameBuy Now
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4Check on Samsung

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Apple Watch Series 7Check on Apple

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3Check on Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2Check on Amazon
Garmin Vivoactive 4Check on Amazon
Fitbit Charge 5Check on Amazon
Garmin Vivosmart 4Check on Amazon
Amazfit GTS 4 MiniCheck on Amazon
Amazfit Bip U Smart WatchCheck on Amazon
Fitbit SenseCheck on Amazon

10. Fitbit Sense:

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Fitbit Sense is the latest health-focused smartwatch with sensors dedicated to every health metric. Its EDA sensor monitors stress monitoring with excellent accuracy. It can also measure skin temperature and heart health.

The EDA Scan app senses electrodermal activity and shows how your body responds to stress. With the help of included skin temperature sensor, the watch logs yours each night. Hence, you can determine when your skin temperature differs.

To ensure good heart health, this watch allows you to evaluate your heart for atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm abnormality. You can share the corresponding results with your doctor. If the heart rate is high or low than average, you are informed with the notifications alerts. Moreover, you can instantly check your nightly blood oxygen levels with the supported clock faces.


  • The built-in battery lasts for more than six days plus.
  • The fast charging support provides you with a full day’s charge in only 12 minutes (it varies with usage and other factors).
  • You can use the supported GPS during hikes, runs, rides, and more. It helps you to check speed and distance without using your phone.
  • The built-in speaker and mic can accept Bluetooth calls hands-free when your phone is close to you.
  • There is support for a free 6-month trial of Fitbit Premium for the new Premium users.

9. Amazfit Bip U Smart Watch:

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Amazfit Bip U is a renowned smartwatch with unique health options. It provides 24/7 heart rate monitoring, stress level monitoring, and blood oxygen monitoring. Besides, you can check your breathing pattern and sleep quality. The stress monitoring function can provide breathing training to balance your stress levels. Hence, you can immediately know when you must rest.

PAI health evaluation system uses algorithms to transform intricate details like activity duration, heart rate data, and other health info into numerical values. These details are presented in an accessible format.

The female period tracking system allows this watch to record and predict the female menstrual cycle. It also sends intelligent reminders.


  • The battery life of 9 days avoids frequent recharging.
  • Being water-resistant up to 50 meters, this smartwatch stays undamaged during swimming. It can record all your swimming achievements underwater.
  • With the support for 60+ sports modes, this watch can record a broad range of activities accurately and automatically.
  • With a personalized 1.43 inches HD fancy square screen, this watch offers a more prominent display area than a circular smartwatch face of the same width. The display resolution is 320 x 302 pixels. Fifty watch faces are supported to suit your outfit and mood.
  • It seamlessly pairs with most Android 5.0 or higher iOS 10.0 smartphone versions.
  • It feels lightweight on your wrist when weighing merely 31 grams and features an ultra-light design.

8. Amazfit GTS 4 Mini:

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This Amazfit smartwatch precisely tests your blood-oxygen saturation, stress level, and heart rate simultaneously. You must tap on the watch and show results in 45 seconds.

It sends you helpful health reminders for abnormally high or low heart rates, abnormally low SpO₂ levels, abnormally high-stress levels, and stress-reducing breathing exercises.


  • It supports more than 120 sports modes and intelligent recognition too. So, you can track your performance in walking, running, yoga, cycling, and more.
  • The water-resistance grade of 5 ATM suggests that this smartwatch resists water damage up to 50 meters of water depth.
  • It packs in a powerful 270 mAh battery that lasts up to 15 days (typical usage) and 45 days (on battery saver mode).
  • The AMOLED HD full-color display features a resolution of 336 x 384 pixels and 309 PPI.
  • It only weighs 19.1 grams, and its thickness is 9.15 mm. The skin-friendly silicone strap gives it an elegant appearance,
  • The GPS support helps you to make the most of your trips outdoors. It uses circularly polarized antenna technology to enhance positioning performance and precision.
  • With built-in Alexa and Zepp OS, you can ask questions, set the alarm, have a translation, etc.

7. Garmin Vivosmart 4:

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If you are looking for a slim fitness tracker with leading health tracking features, you can go for Garmin Vivosmart 4. Its wrist-based Pulse Oxygen sensor accurately detects blood oxygen saturation. The watch also supports stress tracking functionality and a relaxation breathing timer to regulate stress levels.

You can estimate blood oxygen saturation levels at night with advanced sleep monitoring and REM sleep. Body Battery energy monitoring informs you when you are active or must rest.

The list of include health monitoring tools is all-day stress tracking, estimated wrist-based heart rate, relaxation breathing timer, body battery energy monitor, etc.


  • It supports various activity timers for runs, walks, yoga, strength training, pool swims, and more.
  • The smart notifications and vibration alerts keep connected on the go (if paired with a compatible smartphone). You can receive vibration alerts for all the notifications, including text messages, calls, and more.
  • The display resolution is 48 x 128 pixels.
  • The battery life is up to 7 days (without pulse ox sleep tracking).
  • It is safe to use this smartwatch while showering and swimming.
  • You can connect it to your compatible smartphone’s GPS to obtain precise tracking during runs and outdoor walks.
  • Despite being slim, it combines stylish design with appealing metal accents and a bright, easy-to-read display.

6. Fitbit Charge 5:

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Fitbit Charge 5 can display
a daily Stress Management Score. This score shows your body’s response to stress and informs steps to improve your stress levels using an on-wrist EDA sensor mindfulness session.

Health Metrics dashboard allows you to track heart rate variability, SpO2, skin temperature difference, and more.


  • You can understand your sleep quality in-depth using a daily Sleep Score. Also, the graphs show your sleep time in deep, light, and REM sleep.
  • You can ensure good heart health with atrial fibrillation (AFib) heart rhythm assessments supported on the on-wrist ECG app.
  • Daily Readiness Score and heart rate variability (HRV) help optimize your workout routine. It informs you if you need sleep.
  • The built-in GPS displays your real-time distance and speed outdoors without using your phone. Subsequently, you can check a map of your workout route via the Fitbit app.
  • The battery life is up to 7 days.
  • 24/7 heart rate tracking track calorie burnt and enhance your workouts. Active Zone Minutes guides you on your anticipated intensity level.
  • The supported 20 exercise modes allow you to set personal goals for rides, runs, strength training, etc.

5. Garmin Vivoactive 4:

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Improve your fitness with this 45 mm Garmin smartwatch. It is well-known for its broad range of features, including all-day health monitoring, animated workouts, and music storage. Hence, it helps you easily reach your fitness goals.

You can track your Pulse Ox, energy levels, stress respiration, sleep, menstrual cycle, estimated heart, hydration, etc.


  • Safety and tracking functionalities support incident detection (works during special activities) and assistance (works when paired with a compatible device). Both of them send real-time locations to the emergency contacts.
  • The battery life is up to 8 days (smartwatch mode) and 6 hours (music and GPS mode).
  • With support for 20 pre-loaded GPS and indoor sports apps, you can measure your workout routine while running, doing yoga, swimming, and more.
  • You would always stay connected with smart notifications (if paired with a compatible device) for text messages, incoming calls, calendar reminders, etc.
  • It is easy to personalize this watch from thousands of free watch faces, widgets, and apps. They are accessible from the Garmin Connect IQ store.
  • You can easily download song playlists from Amazon Music, Spotify, or Deezer.

4. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2:

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The built-in advanced sensors in this smartwatch assist you in achieving your fitness goals. The included sensors are Gyro, Accelerometer, HRM, Barometer, and Ambient Light.

You will be alerted if the watch detects a lower or higher heart rate than average.


  • The built-in sleep tracker provides valuable insights on how you can have a healthier night’s sleep. Moreover, it monitors your stress level and integrates the calm app.
  • You can connect this watch through Bluetooth to your favorite apps.
  • The chipset is Exynos 9110 (CA53 dual processor, 1.15 GHz). The memory and storage space are respectively 768 MB and 4 GB.
  • The resolution of the Super AMOLED is 360 x 360 pixels.
  • The battery capacity is 340 mAh.
  • The durability is excellent because it is MIL-STD-810G certified.
  • This watch is 5ATM and IP68 water-resistance rated.
  • The operating system is Tizen OS 4.0.
  • The sleek and lightweight design provides all-day comfort. It is available in stainless steel or aluminum. Various face bands are available to suit your outfit and mood.

3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3:

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The automatic sleep tracker of Galaxy Watch3 provides insights on how to obtain a better night’s sleep. It monitors your stress level and provides breathing guides.

It provides you the freedom to text, call, stream music and receive notifications through Bluetooth connectivity.


  • It tracks seven favorite workout activities. The built-in coaching helps you track your movement during walking and running.
  • Two finishes, two sizes, and three colors are available. Fifty watch faces are available to match your outfit and mood.
  • The military-grade durability ensures long-term usage. Its body is water resistant.
  • The integrated Bixby voice functionality can instantly make a call, read your texts, or start coaching on command.
  • Samsung Pay lets you make payments without your wallet. The multilayered defense-grade security platform ensures data safety.
  • This watch seamlessly pairs with Android devices and specific iOS devices.
  • The chipset is Exynos 9110 (CA53 dual processor, 1.15 GHz).
  • The memory and storage space are respectively 1 GB and 8 GB.
  • The resolution of the Super AMOLED is 360 x 360 pixels.
  • The battery capacity is 340 mAh.
  • The durability is excellent because it is MIL-STD-810G certified.
  • This watch is 5ATM and IP68 water-resistance rated.
  • The operating system is Tizen OS 5.5.

2. Apple Watch Series 7:

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The ECG sensor in the Apple Watch Series 7 accurately detects SpO2 and the heart rate. The meditative breathing option depicts amazing animation for breathing exercises. Hence, it keeps your body calm.


  • The cutting-edge app and sensor measure your blood oxygen level. You can take an ECG anywhere, anytime. You can accurately determine your heart rate. Also, sleep tracking is supported to ensure good health.
  • The ECG app indicates whether or not your heart rhythm depicts signs of atrial fibrillation. It checks whether your heart beats in a regular pattern or not. It delivers heart rate notification that alters when the heartbeat is higher or lower than average.
  • The Sleep app keeps track of your sleep and prepares a bedtime routine and a schedule. Hence, you can fulfill your sleep goals.
  • Its body is water resistant to 50 meters.
  • The more prominent display makes it easy to read the output. The borders are reduced by 40%. So, the screen area is more apparent than in Series 6 and Series 3.
  • Emergency SOS is supported for international emergency calling. Fall detection is also supported.
  • The watch’s buttons are redesigned to benefit from the more prominent always-on retina display. It is 70% brighter indoors, although your wrist is down. The show helps you to use a Timer, Calculator, and Stopwatch comfortably.
  • With this watch, you can track your performance during photography, surfing, astronomy, etc. Simply download the app, and you can access everything from your hand.

1. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4:

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The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is equipped with the brand’s latest BioActive sensor. It shows your body composition, including Body Water, Fat, Fat Mass, etc. Moreover, it constantly detects stress levels and informs you want should take a break or do breathing exercises.

Sleep coaching imparts how you can enrich healthy sleep habits. After tracking your sleep and finishing sleep surveys, the Sleep coaching program allocates one of the eight sleep symbols that shows your sleep type. Subsequently, it provides a 4-to-5-week coaching program along with helpful sleep tips, checklists, and missions.

You can set targets for your body fat percentage, weight, and skeletal muscle to stay fit. You can easily track your progress and get reminders to stay motivated. You can easily track your fitness scores and activities on your phone and watch. Also, you can check the amount of oxygen in your blood anytime.


  • The GPS allows you to count steps and calories burnt. More than 90 exercises are supported to give you an accurate workouts report.
  • Using interval training and advanced index, you can optimize your workouts and train your body to achieve your following fitness goals.

Final Words:

With this overview of how Stress Monitor functions in a smartwatch, you can now focus on your mental health and lead a healthy lifestyle. The discussed smartwatches not only monitor stress but other health parameters too. They also have cutting-edge features to streamline your casual and professional lifestyle.

Affiliate Disclosure: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

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