Project timeline

Protocol design
  • To find out what events and activities can elicit stress in the workplace, we carried out a systematic literature review. We were interested in everyday stress or what is termed as acute, periodic, or episodic stress, that is something that is not (yet) chronic. To find out more about our literature review, you can read its description on PROSPERO.

    Systematic literature review
  • We also wanted to hear what workers subjected to stress say themselves. We asked them about the most common causes of stress that they experience in their own work. We carried out these group interviews both in Belgium and Slovenia with office workers of different occupations.

    Focus groups
  • In addition to asking our participants what they perceive as stressful and how, we also wanted to describe their surroundings and activities as accurately as possible. Since this is an active area of research (see this paper by Alberdi et al. for a review), we decided to capture as many factors that might turn out to be relevant and chose the AWARE framework to start off the Android application used for this purpose. We also decided to use Empatica E4 wristband to measure physiological responses to stress.

    Context detection
  • Empatica E4 wristband

    Empatica E4 wristband.

Application development
  • In addition to the sensor data provided by AWARE, we wanted to detect conversations. We integrated openSMILE to calculate audio features from microphone data and extended our application’s capabilities to include detection of human voice by training a model in Weka. In this way, we can detect human voice from microphone features without storing any audio recordings and thus retain privacy.

    Speech recognition
  • Based on the protocol we developed, we selected questionnaires which measure the concepts we are interested in and implemented them as an ecological momentary assessment. We also developed a triggering protocol which determines when and which of these questions are presented to the participants.

    Ecological momentary assessment
  • A screenshot of our Android app.

    A screen from the STRAW application for Android.

Next phase: data collection …

The project is funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders, Belgium (FWO, Project No. G.0318.18N) and the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS, project ref. N2-0081)