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IBM - Heart Rate Variability (HRV) measurement for individual resources in older generations

Added on 22-03-2013





Business challenge

In today’s working environment, we are subjected to demanding professional stress. There is also a certain danger of exhaustion. Sleeplessness, problems of concentration, tiredness and lack of motivation are just a few of the consequences. Over time permanent overloading makes it impossible to rebuild the used up reserves. This can be prevented through the conscious deployment of a person’s own strengths.


The Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis is the measurable basis for sustaining health, prevention and for improving performance. The measurement and analysis of the HRV represent one of the most modern techniques of stress research as a basis for keeping fit and healthy. For older employees this represents a very good way to check if the individual vitality level matches the workload. 

Tips for implementation:

It is important that dedicated health specialists organize the HRV measurement tool. As the data has to be collected and sent to an external provider, it is essential that the employees’ privacy is guaranteed. A HRV specialist – preferably the internal health specialist or an external provider – is needed for the counselling.


The challenge in this case was to build up trust in this measurement and ensure the employees of their data privacy. Furthermore it is very important to include the management and inform them about the measurement to get their support.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

Benefits for the Company:

  • Employees increase their awareness of their health status, leading to higher productivity, employee satisfaction and less absenteeism.
  • Furthermore, the public health sector is positively affected because of this preventive treatment.

Benefits for Older Employees (+45):

  • The benefit for older employees is to raise their individual stress tolerance and recovery ability, optimize performance and minimize stress diseases and burn out risk.
  • The employee feels more confident with the individual resources and knows how to handle them.

Benefits for the rest of the Employees:

  • The rest of the employees are affected in the same way as older employees. The exchange between younger and older employees on health topics and experiences at work over the years can be enhanced.
  • The HRV analysis can also be seen as a mentoring project on health topics.

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