Stress Management Design Guideline with Smart Devices during COVID-19

Jeannie Kang, Daehee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background Stress among the general population has been steadily increasing, and the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe amplified stress by changing how we live our daily lives. As the social cost of stress increases and individual lives become devastated, managing stress becomes a critical issue. Government organizations suggest general guidelines to cope with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, smart devices such as smartwatches and smartphones detect and monitor physiological data as an integral part of our daily life, enabling us to recognize our stress level anytime, anywhere. However, there is a lack of studies regarding stress-relieving methods with smart devices. Methods We proposed a stress management flow correlating the human cognitive process with smart device interventions. Then, we developed a step-by-step guideline on a smartphone paired with a smartwatch to relieve physical stress with lack of movement, psychological stress with fear from uncertainty, psychosocial stress with loneliness and social isolation, and psycho-spiritual stress with limitations for faith community routine during COVID-19. We recruited 24 university students as participants (8 males, 16 females), and we measured perceived stress scale (PSS) score based on the case study to verify the new design guidelines. The participants ranged in age from 20 to 25 years (mean age = 22.08). We used 14 stress measurement questions to calculate the PSS (PSS maximum = 56). In addition, we used a one-way ANOVA to analyze the PSS results. Results In general, the results of one-way ANOVA for total PSS indicated a noticeable difference between before and after the prototype (F = 33.47; p < 0.01). The mean scores were 33.25 before the prototype and 28.13 after the prototype in the statistical analysis. Findings from this study advocated our new design guidelines with smart devices that help relieve stress but there are limitations such as constrained recruiting sample and the duration of the prototype testing, fundamental difference between short-term and long-term stresses, and limited scope of stress categories and smart devices. Conclusions This study’s contribution is to expand smart device’s usage to stress relief during COVID-19, not only limited to stress measurement. From this study, we hope to open a discussion on the role of smart devices to manage stress and how to design guidelines for user’s quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages17
JournalArchives of Design Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted educational and non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Covid-19
  • Design guideline
  • Smart devices
  • Stress management
  • User experience
  • Wearable devices


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