Don’t let the nose ring or the popped collar fool you. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was clearly taking things seriously today (Sept. 5) in Washington, where he testified to two Congressional committees about his company’s plans for combatting interference in US elections by foreigners.
The marathon sessions, during which Dorsey also fielded questions—and the occasional political rant—on topics ranging from censorship and data privacy to cyber bullying and algorithmic bias, got the tech executive’s heart rate racing. And how do we know this?
Because when it was all over, Dorsey, who was joined by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg in testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee and afterward got grilled on his own by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, tweeted a screenshot from his Apple health-stats tracker.
The average male’s resting heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute, which makes the upper reaches of Jack Dorsey’s heart rate look tame. But Dorsey is not your average male. He is the founder and CEO of two public companies. He reportedly meditates and works out daily, and for the past two years has been doing his five-mile commute on foot for the extra exercise and thinking time.
His resting heart rate when he’s not testifying before Congress, as indicated by the first few hours of data on his chart, is closer to the 40 beats per minute commonly found in elite athletes—which makes Dorsey’s peak of 109 beats per minute look fairly elevated.
But outwardly, Dorsey kept his cool throughout the testimony, even while Twitter’s stock price sank as the Senate session wore on.
Stress isn’t the only factor in changed heart rates. According to the American Heart Association, standing up can briefly increase your heart rate, while certain medications such as beta blockers can slow it. Weather also can play a role, with high heat and humidity sometimes causing heart rates to rise by five to 10 beats per minute. On Dorsey’s big day in Washington, temperatures in the city reached a high of 94°F and the humidity was 72%.