Physiological Stress Testing


Physiological stress testing is undertaken using heart rate variablity (HRV) and cortisol measurements. HRV is measured over 72-hours using a wearable device, the FirstBeat system. This detects whether the body is in stress mode, relaxation mode, or is exercising or sleeping. Four cortisol measurements are provided by the respondent using saliva samples. Combined with a personal diary which records your activities through the day, this system provides an objective measure of your stressors and the factors that effect your sleep. Alongside RQi profiling and one-to-one coaching this RQi 360 programme provides the most comprehensive resilience package in the world.

Stress testing

This combines three elements:

  • Measurement of heart rate variability (HRV) using the FirstBeat system - to evaluate stress and sleep patterns
  • Cortisol profiling over 24 hours using saliva samples - to assess how your cortisol changes during the day
  • Online diary completion - to record daily activities

This is followed by a one-to-one consultation with a Resilience Coach.

There is also the option for participants to see a sleep coach, REBT/CBT therapist or a fitness expert.

Heart Rate Variability

How does it work?

We map HRV over 72 hours using the Firstbeat Bodyguard system, a small wearable device which records heart rate in real-time. Respondents also complete an online diary. The recording shows how your body reacts to stressful events and how well you recover.

Here is a real life example of a 24 hour stress profile measured using the Bodyguard system. This shows good management of stress during the day and good recovery at night.

HRV Day-1

The following 24 hours with the same person shows good management of stress during the day but poor recovery at night, due to socialising in the evening and alcohol consumption.

HRV Day-2


Cortisol profiling

How does it work?

The profile requires four saliva samples in the course of a day. This tells us about the long-term effects of demands on your hormonal system. Cortisol is highest in the morning and under normal circumstances, declines gradually during the day. Poor stress recovery is reflected in high cortisol into the evening.