© - Montage: UDE/Helma Torkamaan

Test persons wanted for app for stress reduction

Short break, long relaxation

  • von Thomas Wittek
  • 10.11.2020

What causes someone stress is individually very different. Just as different are the recipes that help against it, and often even a small interruption has a great effect. These are the principles according to which an app works, developed by scientists at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE). They want to find out how mobile applications on smartphones can increase resilience to stress and thus improve mental health. They are now looking for test persons who are prepared to use the app for at least two weeks.

"Play a song and dance to it", "Watch a funny video on YouTube" or "Do a mindfulness exercise" are recommendations that the users of the App PAX Stress Resilience get when their stress level is too high. Such mini-interventions are designed to effectively reduce stress without interrupting the daily routine too much. In addition, the users receive advice on strategies to better manage stress. To do this, the app queries the user's current mood and certain behavioural patterns. It also collects a range of data on smartphone usage.

"We now know that the way we interact with our smartphone and the apps installed on it can be an indicator of our mood and stress," says Helma Torkamaan from the Interactive Systems working group. "Our goal is for PAX to not only determine when you are stressed, but also to be able to predict when you are stressed and make suggestions on how to cope with it better".

The App PAX Stress Resilience is a further development of the PAX Mood Tracker, which Torkamaan successfully tested earlier this year. "Initially, our main aim was to find the most suitable user interface for mood tracking. Now we are going one step further. We want to develop a health recommender system that improves the health of users through targeted personalized interventions. To do this, we need the data from the test series," explains the 31-year-old postgraduate.

The app is configured for Android smartphones and can be downloaded free of charge by interested test persons via the following link: Pax Stress Resilience. The user data, which is generated during the test run, is stored anonymously.

Further information:
Helma Torkamaan, Interaktive Systeme, Tel. 0203/37-92276,

Editing: Dr Thomas Wittek, Tel. 0203/37-92430,

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