Linkura is a spin-off company from the Department of Medical Technology, IMT, at Linköping University. Here you can read about the research that Linkura bases it's programs on, current measurement platforms, questionnaires and recommendations.
Linkura's measuring platform consists of an advanced ECG device worn on a chest strap. It is adapted for measurement of longer periods during everyday life. Linkura uses it for health, lifestyle and stress screening and for objective measurement during longer coaching projects.
An ECG signal makes it possible to measure heart rate variability with sufficient precision and thus correctly measure stress, recovery, sleep, activity and sedation.
The measurement platform stores ECG signal (256 Hz, 10 bits) with battery life and storage space up to 7 days. It snaps on with push buttons against a textile chest strap (standard spacing between pushbuttons) or adhesive electrodes. Data transfer is done with Bluetooth or USB. The device is designed and manufactured in Sweden.
The platform is built as a general platform to be able to study and develop applications around the concept of heart measurements, wether it is everyday use or during training. It can be used for continuous registration for a long period of time, up to 7 days.
Stress is the biggest workplace health problem in Sweden. In the Linkura program we work with mapping of stress and coaching to achieve sustainable change at individual and group level.
Using our measurement device, we have unique opportunities to measure both stress and recovery. The heart plays a central part in the body's stress response, which is both nerve-controlled and affected by stress hormones. With the aid of the measurement device, we can study stress and recovery during the day but also how the balance between stress and recovery looks over time. Stress measurement is part of our lifestyle measurement and an important tool in our coaching.
In addition to recovery during daytime, Linkura uses the same type of measure to study recovery during sleep, which is much more correct than methods based on motion measurement.
Regular physical activity has been proven to both prevent and affect diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression. Physical activity is also an important component in weight control. It is well-known that increased physical activity is one of the things that would have the greatest positive effect on the health of the Swedish people (FYSS, Professional Associations for Physical Activity).
Background information about physical activity
Physical activity is defined as all body movement that results in increased energy consumption. This includes all types of body movements, during work and leisure, everyday motions, exercise or exercise. As long as you are not exposed to the risk of injury or exercising in certain conditions, all types of physical activity have positive effects. However, to be a direct health benefit, the activity must be at least moderate in intensity. An example of such activity is a brisk walk.
There are various recommendations regarding the amount of physical activity required to promote health and disease prevention. The Swedish health ministry recommends:
At least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, at an effort equivalent to at least a brisk walk.
Linkura records physical activity by measuring an individual level of effort which is calibrated to fit the user's individual heart rate profile. This is done by calculating heart rate from the measured ECG signal and collecting statistics over several days.
Linkuras measuring devices are automatically calibrated towards the individual user. In this way, the individual threshold of the heart rate corresponding to health-promoting physical activity (”brisk walk”) is determined and all periods of elevated pulse corresponding to activity at the level beneficial towards their health can be recorded.
Later research has made it clear that sedentary behavior is dangerous, but we still do not know why. The strongest hypotheses is that fat and sugar levels in the blood stream increases because of sedentary behavior.
Thus, it would not be a sitting in itself that is dangerous, but instead it is longer stretches of time with physical inactivity that is dangerous. Therefore, a pulse or heart rate-based measure that corresponds to combustion is better than, for example, an accelerometer. This is because such a measure can actually differentiate between different levels of physical effort exerted by the body.
Nowadays we talk more about physical inactivity than sedentary behavior, but since sedentary behavior (or “sitting still”) has become a rather familiar concept that is also easier to understand, Linkura uses that word in its reports.