Evaluating Effective Stress Reduction Methods in Adolescent by Analyzing Key Bio-signals.
Harrison Cormier
Island Pacific School
Floor Location : J 158 H

This experiment studies the biomarkers of two participant groups to determine if a simple breathing technique has the potential to be an effective mitigation of the adverse impacts of stress on the quality of life in the adolescent demographic. Chronic stress can degrade the overall cardiovascular health in anyone, leading to complications such as cardiovascular stress, reproductive system irregularity, increased fear, muscular pains, development of diabetes, as well as insomnia. Unfortunately, there are few studies that scientifically support techniques to mitigate stress in adolescence which would be vital to mitigate the aforementioned potential complications.

The hypothesis of this experiment asserts that performing active breathing exercises after a stress-inducing experience would result in a reduction of the stress in the subject groups. Stress levels were measured through a number of key biomarkers. The biomarkers measured in this experiment are electrophotography (EEG) data, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. In this experiment, the Emotiv Insight was utilized to measure the electroencephalography (EEG) data from the temporal lobe, more precisely the amygdala which is also acknowledged as the fear centre of the brain and has been associated with stress. The Nokia Thermo was used to measure the temperature of participants using the temporal vein in the forehead. A wireless blood pressure monitor by Nokia ‘BPM’ applies the cuff-oscillometric method to measure the blood pressure from the upper arm.
All subjects participated in a fifteen-minute test that was composed of three distinct activities. The first component had participants reading from a preselected story that was determined to be emotionally neutral. This was done to gather baseline readings from the participants with no apparent stress inducers. The second component of the testing was the Stress Inducing Activity (SIA). During this test, participants were instructed to subtract the number thirteen from all the numbers presented to them, the numbers ranged from two digits to four digits. This test was performed to induce stress in the participants. The third component of the test varied by subject; Participants in Test Group A acted as the control variable. They rested in the testing room for three minutes once the rest of the test was completed. Test Group B participants were instructed to begin a three-minute active breathing activity based on an accredited application. An analysis of the results demonstrated that the stress in adolescents was significantly reduced using active breathing exercises indicated by a measurement of temporal temperature, heart rate and blood pressure.

The electroencephalography data was inconclusive. Nevertheless, an analysis of the remaining biomarkers indicated a strong relationship between a reduction of stress in subjects who performed a breathing exercise in comparison to those who did not.