Beautiful Portsmouth, UK played host to an international delegation of researchers, industry leaders and policy makers in attendance at the 3rd International Conference on Physical Employment Standards, also known as PES.
MSc student Daniel Armstrong and Lab Director Steven Fischer represented the Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab at the three-day conference, sharing emerging research on key topics related to physical employment standards (PES). Following behind internationally renowned Canadian-based PES researchers including Dr. Tara Reilly (Senior Research Officer within the Canadian Armed Forces Morale and Welfare Services) and Dr. Veronica Jamnik (Professor, York University) within the adverse impact theme, Daniel provided the audience with a summary of his research on the use of fitness training to overcome adverse impact in paramedic pre-employment screening. Daniel showcased how a targeted strength and conditioning program was successful in improving candidates performance on the Ottawa Paramedic Physical Ability Test (OPPAT). In fact, Daniel did such a great job articulating his work that the conference organizing committee selected Daniel for the best student presentation award! Way to go Daniel!
During the "Future considerations for PES" theme, OBEL Director Steven Fischer shared ideas about how we might leverage advances in motion capture and artificial intelligence to improve the utility of PES as a strategy for the primary prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. The presentation was met with intrigue, curiosity, and collaborative interests. OBEL looks forward to exploring emerging collaborations that aim to enhance movement competency assessment within PES.
The conference was a huge success and served as an excellent platform to discuss the science and practice of PES. The conference organizers from the University of Portsmouth and the Occupational Performance Group at the University of Chichester put together an incredible program. Stay tuned for an upcoming special edition in the journal WORK which will include full-length peer-reviewed papers from a selection of the presentations delivered at PES 2018. Thank you to the conference organizing committee and to Portsmouth, UK for an incredible conference.