Participants N = 14
Participants ranged in age from 18 to 65. All participants are high-functioning and most hold leadership roles within the business and sport sectors. Occupations include: collegiate coach, venture capitalist, chief technology officer, business owner, sport psychologist, medical doctor, educator, executive, social worker. Other roles include: Pre-med student and Division I tennis player. The original participant group was 20; six did not complete week one and their data was removed.
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Participants were recruited to partake in a 30 day study. They were educated in installing and using Welltory to track Stress, Energy and Productivity. The info video that Welltory created was used to instruct participants on how to conduct a measurement. A YouTube video was created instructing participants on how to categorize readings (pre and post) as well as send data (links in Figure 1).
Next, participants were trained in three practices. Each consisted of one breath protocol and one vision protocol. They were labeled as:
Calm consisted of a 4:2:8:2 breath ratio, with a soft or horizon gaze. Energy consisted of a 1:1 breath ratio, with a fixed focal point. Stable consisted of 4:4:4:4 ratio, with the option of soft, focused, or closed eyes.
Instruction was done via YouTube (links in Figure 1), with details included:
how to sit properly
how to breathe through the nose
how to use the proper vision protocol
how many breath cycles to complete
The daily practice consisted of the following steps (Figure 1):
Welltory reading, labeled “pre”
Emotional ID survey and B/V practice selection
Perform B/V practice for a specified cycle
Another Welltory reading labeled “post”
Welltory measured stress, energy, and productivity using heart rate variability data. The Emotional ID survey included 45 emotional descriptors spanning each of the four quadrants of James A. Russell’s circumplex. Participants also were required to choose a B/V practice they would perform and perform a designated cycle of repetitions. Finally, participants would do another Welltory reading, labeled as post after completion of the B/V practice. Participants were instructed to do this practice 5 out of 7 days each week, preferably during work.
In addition to measuring the effects of B/V + E ID on HRV reading (Welltory), the study also looked to measure each participant’s Autotelic Personality Traits - by completing a subjective Likert survey at the beginning of the study (to serve as a baseline measurement), and each week thereafter. Traits surveyed include:
Lack of Self Centeredness
In addition, participants completed the nine question Flow Scale Inventory at the beginning of the study, and each week thereafter, which also served as a baseline measurement.
Data was collected in week 1 and used as a baseline. The remaining weeks (2 to 5) were grouped together. The study looked to measure the delta between the two scores.
Summary of Results
323 total Welltory readings were collected and analyzed. Figures 3 and 4 detail the mean data for pre and post readings and disaggregate before and after the median of the 323 readings.
The difference between pre and post readings before and after the median shows only a small amount of change, with a slight improvement in most areas toward Welltory’s recommended metrics for stress, energy and productivity levels. The only metric that moved away from the recommended metrics was after-median post score for stress. But that was already in the recommended zone, and it remained there, even after the slight change. Overall, the scores did not indicate significant movement in shifting state, but that may be because participants’ average scores were in optimal states during the initial Welltory measurement.
Results for participants’ self reporting during the study include:
Most commonly reported emotional ID descriptors: 25% Relaxed & Contended, 17.8% Happy & Satisfied,16.4% Tired
B/V practice chosen: 44.7% Calming, 32.3% Stable, 23% Energizing
Accuracy of emotional ID label: very accurate 72.8%, accurate 17.9%, neutral 8.9%, inaccurate 0.4%, very inaccurate 0%
The most significant changes occurred in the Autotelic and Flow Surveys (Likert Scale of 19 questions). On autolic questions, the overall mean increased over time from 3.46 in week one, 3.56 in weeks 2-4, and continued to increase to 3.67 in the final survey upon completion of the month. On the Flow Inventory Survey, the overall mean for participants increased over time from 3.44 in week 1, 3.67 in weeks 2-4, and 3.88 in the final survey. This indicates that there may be some impact on flow state and autotelic traits by developing a habit of HRV + E ID + B/V practice.
Out of the metrics studied in the Likert scale survey, the area that did not show positive improvement was:
The areas that showed improvement include:
Inconclusive areas (with differing impacts in the positive and negatively stated questions) include: