Under the consultancy of world-leading performance experts and sports psychologists from Bangor University, our just-launched bio app sits within OSTC’s new centralised knowledge suite, ZISHI. Used by traders across the business to measure key biomarkers including heart rate variability, mood and energy levels, data is gathered to assess how a user’s physiological state correlates with their trading state. Individuals will receive tailored recommendations to improve energy levels, negate stress responses and help maintain that all-important ‘edge’.

One of the core metrics to measure for traders is Heart Rate Variability (HRV). This equates to the variation in time between successive heart beats over a given time period.

The time between beats is sometimes called Inter-beat Intervals (IBIs) or R-R intervals and is usually measured in milliseconds (ms). R-R intervals are very different than Heart Rate (HR) or Beats Per Minute (BPM). HRV looks much closer at the small heart fluctuations that occur in response to everything that happens both inside and outside of our body. By applying the right calculations to these barely perceptible R-R interval changes, we can figure out exactly how ready we are to handle things like intense exercise, a big presentation at work, or any other stressful situation. This is all possible thanks to a certain branch of our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

The ANS plays a major role in digestion, sexual arousal, muscle repair and lowering blood pressure. By contrast, the Sympathetic (‘fight or flight’) branch increases blood pressure, increases heart rate, dilates pupils, and makes you sweat more. The balance of your Autonomic Nervous System is shifting between Parasympathetic and Sympathetic all the time. By measuring HRV regularly, we can see the shifts in Parasympathetic and Sympathetic dominance and deliver insights into how performance might be compromised if the data indicates constantly elevated Sympathetic response. The ZISHI biometric testing and tracking then provides customised insights and recommendations to mitigate stress and help bring the body back into homeostasis.