When you get stressed in a traffic jam, your heart rate goes up. This is because, although youve got nowhere to go, your prehistorically programmed body interprets your agitation as impending con...

17 Nov 2010 00:00

Our control office worker averaged 72bpm during his day higher than Barry on the motorway but much lower than Charless mad rush around town. Of course, stress does play its part in office situations but heart-rate spikes could also be explained by mild exertion such as climbing stairs.

Charless day was also punctuated by physical exercise but his very high heart rate was mainly sparked by stress energy. This is not healthy over such a prolonged period. Barry was lucky not to have seen any bad traffic, which explains his low average rate.

Find out more about stress at or ring the British Heart Foundation for a copy the Stress and Your Heart booklet by phoning 01604 640016 and quoting reference G187.