Oxford Restfulness Tracker – An app to help student athletes avoid over-training

IT Innovation ChallengesStudent project led by Ali Cigari

Student round 2016/17

For more information, please contact innovations@it.ox.ac.uk


According to a recent survey by NUS, 78% of students suffered from a mood disorder or mental health episode in the past year and 54% of those failed to seek help. Successful treatment of mood disorders is highly dependent on the ability to identify positive and negative triggers that lead to such episodes. Therefore, we aim to develop a mood tracking web and mobile app that will help facilitate this.
Working closely with Filipe Salbany, The Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC) sports physiologist, and the four University heavyweight and lightweight rowing teams, we propose to develop a mobile app and web platform to enable the accurate and efficient monitoring of how a student-athlete’s daily activities influence their psychological well-being, and athletic performance. These high-level student-athletes represent an ideal test group for the technology we aim to develop. They are under significant stress from combining athletic training at an elite level with the academic and social demands of University life. Furthermore, their health and athletic performance is closely monitored by OUBC coaches and staff. Our service will prompt users to track psychological indicators such as perceived fatigue, stress and mood levels on a daily basis. The app will notably leverage on metadata from the user’s phone to help identify specific positive and negative triggers for one’s psychological well-being and athletic performance in a personalized manner. These psychological variables will be studied alongside other physiological data and biomarkers relevant to athletes performance and recovery levels collected throughout the season by OUBC, including heart rate variability (HRV), blood-based biomarkers and dexa scans, which will help further validate our technology.
Beyond the pilot phase of the study focusing on student-athletes, we will aim to extend the service to assist anyone experiencing stress in a University environment.

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