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The new Fitbit Sense watch can tell whether you're sick or stressed

Fitbit Sense changes the game for fitness trackers - but do we really want to know our stress levels?

Bridie Wilkins

Statistics show that the amount of people reporting high levels of anxiety since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is almost double that of the same quarter in 2019. It's hardly surprising, given the uncharted territory the UK has found itself in, but what is surprising, is that a lot of us aren't aware of how stressed we really are.

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What does the Fitbit Sense watch do?

Fitbit's new Sense watch counts a stress scoreboard among its features, and marks users on the accompanying Fitbit app.

Without getting too technical, it works via an electrocardiogram monitor that is activated when you hold your palm over the watch-face and breathe.

fitbit-sense-watch

Fitbit Sense watch, £299,

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What does the Fitbit Sense watch record?

Skin temperature, oxygen levels in the blood and heart rate levels are recorded, giving you a clear overview of your general health and, ultimately, identifying the predecessor to sickness: stress.

We're all familiar with the notion that stress can cause illness, but never has there been a feasible way to establish whether we're at the point where we need to take a step back and reconsider our lifestyles, or if we're good to plough on as we are.

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The skin temperature sensor alone offers a way to detect a fever, while it can also be used to signify the start of a new menstrual phase.

apple-watch-series-5

Apple Series 5 watch, £429,

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Apple, meanwhile, has recently added a Cycle Tracking app to its Series 5 watch, that gives you information on menstrual irregularities and symptoms, as well as providing you with an all-encompassing calendar.

A Noise and Breathe App also work to reduce stress by sensing high noise levels that could distract or irritate you, and leading you through breathing techniques when you need it most during the day.

The Fitbit Sense watch is available to pre-order on Amazon and will be available on 25 September, while Apple's Series 5 style is shoppable now. 

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