Home News Worldwide research groups welcomed to Chichester for International Occupational Performance Symposium

Worldwide research groups welcomed to Chichester for International Occupational Performance Symposium

The Occupational Performance Research Group (OPRG) based within the Institute of Applied Sciences welcomed researchers from around the world to University of Chichester last month (7th September 2023) when we hosted the International Occupational Performance Symposium 2023. The Symposium brought together 61 attendees from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Singapore representing the full spectrum of occupational performance research practitioners (serving military personnel, and government, academic, and industry scientists).

The symposium provided the opportunity for researchers from across the globe to deliver short presentations to share information about their research groups as well as current and future occupational performance research projects. Each of the presenting groups also shared information on tools, techniques, and technologies for measuring human performance that were typically employed in their ongoing research.

Collectively, the research group presentations demonstrated the breadth of research being conducted within the occupational performance area whilst highlighting similarities in research priorities. An interactive discussion was facilitated by the OPRG researchers in the afternoon. In this session the attendees discussed contemporary topics in occupational performance research including biomarkers, female performance, and cognitive function.

The symposium was hosted in the lead-up to the 6th International Congress on Soldier Physical Performance (ICSPP) 2023 in London. Eight researchers from OPRG delivered 10 presentations at ICSPP including contributing to two symposia with our international collaborators. The abstracts of the presentations published in the conference proceedings were:

  • Development of a framework to profile physiological, psychological, and psychophysiological variables to predict dismounted soldier performance
  • Monitoring the physical demands of specialist weapons training
  • Physical employment standards next steps: informing the development of a concept for a role-related fitness continuum
  • NATO Study RTG 344 on human impact exposure onboard high-speed boats
  • A comparison of performance on role-related fitness tests between British Army recruits and in-service soldiers
  • Performance of British Army personnel in a swimming representative military Task
  • Weighted counter-movement jump braking force variables in response to military-specific load carriage
  • The effects of probabilistic information and gaming experience on a performance in a military-specific shoot / don’t-shoot task
  • The benefits and practicality of utilising a baseline data collection period in research at military training establishments
  • Rapid assessment of changes in jump performance following a 36-hour field exercise using a semi-automated force-plate system

Attendance at ICSPP was supported by the University Research and Innovation Fund (RIF) and sponsorship for the International Occupational Performance Symposium was provided by Hawkins Dynamic Force Plates. Hosting the International Occupational Performance Symposium and attending the 6th ICSPP has enabled the OPRG to disseminate outcomes form their research and network with colleagues and collaborators from the UK and overseas.

The OPRG team responsible for the organisation and delivery at these two events were Professor Steve Myers and Professor Sam Blacker, Dr Chris Vine, Dr Carla Rue, Dr Kim Ashdown, Dr Sarah Needham-Beck, Dr Tessa Maroni, Faye Walker and Patrick Bray. Additional contributions to the team are made by a range of other staff members across the Institute of Applied Sciences, PhD, placement students and external collaborators.

The OPRG specialises in delivering multi-disciplinary research and consultancy to enhance the selection, performance, protection and health of personnel working within physically demanding occupations. These occupations include the military, emergency services and industry. They worked with a range of clients including, the British Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Marines, RNLI, and the National Ambulance Resilience Unit. For enquiries concerned with the OPRG please contact Professor Stephen Myers or Professor Sam Blacker.

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