• Visualisation technology helps show how damaging stress can be on the body and mind
• Cigna research shows 84% of the world’s population suffers from stress1
• Cigna’s free online PLAN tool helps people identify and manage stress in new, healthier ways
LONDON - 6th November, 2019: Global health service company Cigna is helping people see stress differently on National Stress Awareness Day (6th November) with a new stress visualisation experience. The first-of-its-kind technology combines biometric data and digital art to create moving images showing the physical and emotional signs of stress in the body and mind.
Cigna partnered with doctors, technologists and renowned digital artist, Sean Sullivan, to build the ground-breaking technology, which gathers readings using an EEG headband to detect brainwave activity, a heart rate sensor and a high-tech skin sensor. Data flows into a custom-built algorithm and is interpreted into an artistic motion portrait showing dynamic changes in shape and colour to reflect a person’s overall stress. Part of Cigna’s See Stress Differently campaign, the technology aims to raise awareness of stress and encourage people to create a personal stress-care PLAN using Cigna’s specialist tool. Members of the public can also create their own stress visualisation by taking a three minute online stress test.
According to the 2019 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey, 84% of the world population suffers from stress, but what many people don't realise is that stress constantly impacts both body and mind. Physical symptoms are often invisible until it turns into chronic stress, a leading contributor to severe long-term conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and insomnia.
The survey also found that people are failing to take action, with many turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms. A quarter admit to stress eating and 14% believing that alcohol reduces their stress levels. Only 14% of people would speak to a medical professional when feeling stressed, 46% would speak to their partner, 32% to family and 29% to friends.
Heather Valteris, Chief Marketing Officer, Cigna International Markets, said: “Chronic stress is now recognised as a leading contributor to serious illness, adding burden on health systems. We felt the need to inspire preventative care action for all people, not just our customers. This new stress visualisation experience is a huge step forward in helping people to see stress as a physical health issue, not just an emotional one. If we start to see stress differently, we can start to take control of it in our everyday lives.”
Dr Peter Mills, Cigna Medical Director, added: “National Stress Awareness Day is a perfect time to stop and think about our well-being. It’s a sad truth that people are willing to accept physical symptoms of stress such as headaches and loss of libido without speaking to a medical professional. They’re also likely to take matters into their own hands by eating or drinking unhealthily to cope. We hope our See Stress Differently initiative and our online tool makes them think twice and contact a doctor when feeling unwell.”
1 Cigna 360 Global Well-Being Survey, Cigna, 2019, https://wellbeing.cigna.com/. Based on Cigna 360 Global Well-being survey of 13,200 people across 23 markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA.