Cocorometer: A Quantitative Approach to Measure Stress
Picture source: www.global.rakuten.com
BY ARDELIA CHRISTABEL TOBING
Stress is something that is often blamed for a worker’s low performance. But what exactly is stress? How can it be measured? Basically, stress is the reaction of a human to external stimuli (stressors) that is marked by the rise of cortisol and norepinephrine in blood. It is commonly measured using qualitative approach like questionnaire since taking blood sample to evaluate the level of said hormones are too troublesome. However, Nipro Corporation, a Japanese medical equipment company, had decided to step up its game and launched the Cocorometer, a simple easy-to-use tool that can measure your stress level from your saliva.
The basis of the Cocorometer is that the rise of norepinephrine will affect the level of alpha-amylase in human’s saliva. Alpha-amylase reacts faster to acute stress than cortisol and norepinephrine, so the moment someone feels stressed, it will show on the result.
The stress-testing Cocorometer pack consists of 2 articles, the Cocorometer itself and the test strips, and using it is far from difficult. First, put the half-circle end of the tip under the tongue for about 30 seconds. Then retract it from the mouth and pull the other end of the tip slowly until it clicks. Next, put it inside the Cocorometer and pull up the locking mechanism. Wait until it beeps. Once it beeps, pull down the locking mechanism and pull the tip slowly without getting it out of the Cocorometer. Wait until the result is shown. The interpretation can be seen on Table
Source: Yamaguchi etal, 2004
Using the Cocorometer, it is now possible to analyze whether a worker is stressed or not. Knowing that, a better work system that benefits both worker and company can be created.
Yamaguchi, M., Kanemori T., Kanemaru M., Takai N., Mizuno Y., Yoshida H., (2004), Performacen evaluation of salivary amylase activity monitor, Biosensors and Bioelectronics 20, 491-491.