Electrocardiogram (ECG) based stress recognition integrated with different classification of age and gender

N. S. Nor Shahrudin, K. A. Sidek, A. Z. Jusoh


Good mental health is important in our daily life. A person commonly finds stress as a barrier to enhance an individual’s performance. Be reminded that not all people have the same level of stress because different people have dissimilar problems in their life. In addition, different level of age and gender will affect unequal amount of stress. Electrocardiogram (ECG) signal is an electrical indicator of the heart that can detect changes of human response which relates to our emotions and reactions. Thus, this research proposed a non-intrusive detector to identify stress level for both gender and different classification of age using the ECG. A total of 30 healthy subjects were involved during the data acquisition stage. Data acquisition which initialize ECG data were divided into two conditions; which are normal and stress states. ECG data for normal state only need the participant to breath in and out normally. In other hand, the participants also need to undergo Stroop Colour word test as a stress inducer to represent ECG in stress state. Then, Sgolay filter was selected in the pre-processing stage to remove artifacts in the signal. The process was followed by feature extraction of the ECG signal and finally classified using RR Interval (RRI), different amplitudes of R peaks and Cardioid graph were used to evaluate the performance of the proposed technique. As a result, Class 5 (age range between 50-59 years old) marks the highest changes of stress level rather than other classes, while women are more affected by stress rather than men by showing tremendous percentage changes between normal and stress level over the proposed classifiers. The result proves that ECG signals can be used as an alternative mechanism to recognize stress more efficiently with the integration of gender and age variabilities.


Electrocardiogram, Stress, Age, Sgolay Filter, Pan Tompkins, Cardioid.

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijeecs.v15.i1.pp199-210


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