Table of Contents
Journal of Thermodynamics
Volume 2017, Article ID 7546823, 5 pages
Research Article

Using Thermodynamic Degradation Approach to Quantify Human Stress Response

1School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
2Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Rod Handy; ude.hatu.csh@ydnah.dor

Received 4 May 2017; Accepted 10 August 2017; Published 11 September 2017

Academic Editor: Angelo Maiorino

Copyright © 2017 Satish Boregowda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study provides a thermodynamic degradation approach to model human stress response. Finger skin temperature was used as an indicator of stress response to a stressor (or stressful event) followed by a recovery. The entropy change () is calculated using heat transfer () from the peripheral skin and finger skin temperature (). It was hypothesized that the human stress response, as evidenced by finger skin temperature change, is a quasi-static process. The entropy approach is demonstrated using data from a medical school experimental study. The finger skin temperature was measured under three conditions (relaxation, stressor task, and recovery) during the physiological test profile. The entropy change () is postulated as entropy damage (), which is a metric for measuring the aging or system degradation. The aging-ratio, , that is, the ratio of entropy change due to stressor to that of recovery, is presented for both male and female subjects. The statistical -tests demonstrate statistical significance in human stress response to stressor and recovery states within and between male and female subjects. This novel approach could be valuable to medical researchers, particularly in the field of occupational health to evaluate human exposure to stressful environments.