The Association between Work-Related Rumination and Heart Rate Variability: A Field Study.
Cropley M., Plans D., Morelli D., Sütterlin S., Inceoglu I., Thomas G., Chu C.
The objective of this study was to examine the association between perseverative cognition in the form of work-related rumination, and heart rate variability (HRV). We tested the hypothesis that high ruminators would show lower vagally mediated HRV relative to low ruminators during their leisure time. Individuals were classified as being low (n = 17) or high ruminators (n = 19), using the affective scale on the work-related rumination measure. HRV was assessed using a wrist sensor band (Microsoft Band 2). HRV was sampled between 8 pm and 10 pm over three workday evenings (Monday to Wednesday) while individuals carried out their normal evening routines. Compared to the low ruminators, high affective ruminators demonstrated lower HRV in the form of root mean square successive differences (RMSSDs), relative to the low ruminators, indicating lower parasympathetic activity. There was no significant difference in heart rate, or activity levels between the two groups during the recording periods. The current findings of this study may have implications for the design and delivery of interventions to help individuals unwind post work and to manage stress more effectively. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.