Landmark LinkedIn, Stanford & Spire Study Demonstrates Wearable Technology Significantly Reduces Stress, Boosts Performance in Workplace

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 General News
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Study shows workers who wore a Spire tracker experienced less stress, stress symptoms, anxious days, and negative mood as well as more energetic days than non-Spire users

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The LinkedIn Corporation and Stanford University's

Mind & Body Lab, together with Spire, the world's first wearable device to track breathing patterns, today unveiled the results of the first and only known study of "wearables" in a corporate setting for stress management.

The results of the 30-day study were compelling, showing that workers who wore a Spire tracker -- a small, pebble-sized device that clips to a belt buckle or bra strap -- experienced significantly less stress and negative moods, as well as more productive and "focused" work hours than non-Spire users.

The study analyzed a subset of 225 LinkedIn employees - 114 who were given a Spire to wear versus a 111-employee control group. Employees in both groups work in a wide variety of roles at LinkedIn and included members from their product, legal, marketing, engineering and finance teams. 47% of the participants were female, with the overall group having an average age of 34.

The Spire activity tracker, and accompanying app, was created to provide individuals with greater training in breath regulation without distracting them from workplace tasks. To do this, the Spire device unobtrusively senses breathing patterns and alerts the user of noteworthy changes. The results of Spire's study indicate that there is a clear benefit in the use of wearable health trackers as a scalable means of improving stress response for improved health, wellbeing, and productivity.

These three groups converged when Stanford researchers set out to examine physiological markers of stress, anxiety, and performance, and Spire pursued investigating the impact of Spire in a real-world population outside of the lab. LinkedIn brought all parties together. The ultimate goal of this collaboration became identifying a single technique for improving adaptive responses to stress and investigating the extent to which continuous stress physiology tracking and feedback is effective for improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

For the study, the intervention and control group conducted identical 15-minute psychometric assessments both before and after the study to assess median respiratory characteristics for the intervention group. Once the 30 days were completed and Spire had analyzed participants data, the study found that the intervention group using the device experienced less stress, stress symptoms, anxious days, and negative mood as well as more energetic days, as compared to the control group. The intervention group also experienced more physiological states of calm and focus.

LinkedIn's Global Wellness Manager, Michael Susi, said that "Our employees are our greatest asset – especially their health and minds. They used Spire to make tangible improvements to things that can seem fleeting: focus, distraction, and productivity. Lowering stress while increasing productivity is crucial to the success of any business, and to be able to do both of those with one device is rather powerful."

Looking at the results of Spire's study, the impact that Spire's unique mindfulness attributes has on mental and physical health in the workplace is clear. The results showcase that focusing on mindfulness and stress reducing tactics can have a large impact on an individual's body and mind, and thus a worker's productivity.

A user of Spire in the study stated that "the Spire device is very spot on in terms of the feedback it gives me. Before using it I just thought my state of stress was 'the way it was' and now I realize I have control over it."    

Full results of this peer-reviewed study will be formally shown in poster format at the annual Anxiety and Depression Association of America's conference in April. Some of those include:

Compared to the control group, the Spire group experienced

  • 10% decrease on the Perceived Stress Scale (p<0.05)
  • 12% decrease in stress symptoms on the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (p=0.001),
  • 11% decrease in negative affect on the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (p=0.005)
  • 2.5 (27%) fewer anxious days
  • 3.5 (35%) more energetic days
  • 37% more calm
  • 25% more focus-related breathing patterns.
  • 15% more tension-related breathing patterns attributed to the learning curve associated with any new technology.

Spire users in the study reported:

  • 61% of employees said that using Spire taught them to alter the level of stress they experience.
  • 75% of employees said that they have acquired new knowledge and skills as a result of the Spire stress study program.
  • 58% of employees said that they implemented the knowledge and skills about stress reduction learned through Spire and its app.

About Spire Founded by Jonathan Palley and Neema Moraveji, Ph.D. in 2013, Spire is the world's only wearable proven to decrease stress and increase productivity using respiratory patterns to infer "state-of-mind." The device, which is available in Apple Stores globally, is designed to deliver rich physiological data and real-time insights for health and wellness applications. Backed by world-class investors, including Rock Health, Stanford University, and YCombinator, Spire is based on research conducted at Stanford University and is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit


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