Ultra short term analysis of heart rate variability for monitoring mental stress in mobile settings

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2007;2007:4656-9. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2007.4353378.


Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis is commonly used as a quantitative marker depicting the activity of autonomous nervous system (ANS) that may be related to mental stress. For mobile applications, short term ECG measurement may be used for HRV analysis since the conventional five minute long recordings might be inadequately long. Short term analysis of HRV features has been investigated mostly in ECG data from normal and cardiac patients. Thus, short term HRV features may not have any relevance on the assessment of acute mental stress. In this study, we obtained ultra short term HRV features from 24 subjects during baseline stage and Stroop color word test. We validated these HRV features by showing significant differences in HRV features existed between the two stages. Our results indicated that ultra short term analysis of heart rate and RR intervals within 10 s, RMSSD and PNN50 within 30 s, HF within 40 s, LF/HF, normalized LF, and normalized HF within 50 s could be reliably performed for monitoring mental stress in mobile settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors