Can taking a stress test online be beneficial for your health?

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated April 29, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Stress can be a common part of life for many people—and sometimes, it can be hard to tell if the level of stress you’re experiencing is typical, or if it is too high and might be cause for concern. 

Some people may feel like they might be experiencing an overabundance of stress, but they might not feel entirely sure. Perhaps their jaw and mouth hurt from clenching them in stress, or perhaps they feel regularly nervous—having little patience for no reason.  

How are they to know if what they are feeling is typical or if they need to make some changes? 

Taking a stress test online has become a popular option to assess stress levels, so here, we’ll explore these tests, how they work and options for support with stress.   

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What is an online stress test?

There are many different sorts of online stress tests that you can take, which generally aim to reveal what your stress level is by asking you a variety of questions. Most of them might use different scales, but the idea is often the same. 

You may be asked to answer some multiple-choice questions, and then you might be given some idea of how much stress is in your life. For example: Some might give you a “score” along with a description of your stress level. 

Many might find that there are dozens of different options available online, prompting many to take multiple. For example, there are tests available through Greater Good Magazine, Mental Health America and Be Mindful, to name a few. 

How seriously should you take these stress tests?

These tests do not (and generally should not replace seeking help from a qualified health professional. They may provide you with a useful sense of your stress level, but these tests might provide results based on limited information. 

For example: Maybe the test asks about worry and feeling in control, but a symptom of your stress is difficulty with being able to tolerate interruptions, sweaty palms and high heart rate—or becoming upset over quite trivial things. 

In this case, the test cannot generally consider something that it doesn’t ask about. The tests might simply give you additional information to consider when you think you are experiencing unhealthy levels of stress. 

Taking these tests may help you get a sense of your own stress level, but if you think that you have too much stress in your life, then it is probably best to speak with a health professional.

They will likely be able to give you a more personalized, in-depth assessment of your stress level than a short online quiz.

Are these tests good for your health?

It might not be accurate to say that these online stress tests are either good or bad for your health, as they typically might not have any direct impact on it. 

Even if they seem to determine that you have too much stress, at that point, you will likely want to seek help from a qualified health professional. 

These tests can provide information—whether it is good for your health generally depends on what you do with the information.

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What about a clinical stress test?

There is generally considered to be another definition for the rather general term "stress test,"—and that is an exercise stress test or a clinical stress test that you might perform in person. These aren't usually the sorts of tests that you take online, however. For this test, you might go to a doctor and tell them that you want to have an examination to figure out what's happening with your physical capabilities. This stress test can show how the heart works during physical activity. 

These tests are generally used as an investigatory measure that can figure out the capacity of your blood vessels, lungs, and heart. As you exercise in this test, you may be carefully monitored to see how your body handles the stress. 

In short, it is generally physical stress that is being measured rather than mental or psychological stress. That said, it can be worth noting that mental stress can also impact physical health. 

Should you take an online stress test or a physical one?

If you are worried about the level of your stress, then you may consider taking an online stress test or undergoing one of the clinical tests that you can take at a doctor's office. Doing one or both may give you a better idea of your physical and/or mental state. Your physician can also guide you to the appropriate tests and related treatment options for stress-related concerns.

If you determine that your stress is too high, then you can talk to your doctor about some of your options. You may need to make some shifts in your lifestyle to possibly positively impact your quality of life. Those might include changes in your diet or exercise routine, work changes, relationship changes, daily habits and more. Your doctor may also recommend therapy. 

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Identify unhealthy stress levels and learn coping methods

Support with stress through online therapy

For additional help with stress, you can also consider online therapy. If you’re drawn to the ease and convenience of an online stress test, online therapy may feel similarly convenient. With online therapy through BetterHelp, you can match and speak with a therapist entirely online—no stressful commute necessary. 

Is online therapy effective?

Online therapy has been clinically suggested to be effective in reducing stress. For instance, one research study examined the efficacy of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) for patients with chronic stress. The researchers concluded that a “relatively short ICBT is indicated to be effective in reducing stress-related symptoms”.

Takeaway

If you suspect that you are experiencing unhealthy levels of stress, then you may want to seek help with reducing stress and feeling calmer. For help with stress, you can speak with your doctor about your options and connect with a therapist through online therapy. BetterHelp can connect you with an online therapist in your area of need.
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