Human Factors in Sport: programme

22-23 June 2017, Burleigh Court, Loughborough University

Thursday 22 June

18:15 Welcome, Reception, Networking and Presentations

  • ‘Prevention of drowning at sea campaign’ by JoJo Mains, RNLI
  • ‘Human Factors in the Development of Sports Products’ by Olly Eades, Progressive Sports Technologies Ltd
  • ‘The common theme amongst the very highest performing organisations is the understanding and engagement of its most important asset – its people’ by Phil Kelly, Pro-Noctis

20:00 Dinner

Friday 23 June

08:45 Registration & refreshments

09:20 Introduction and welcome

09:30 ‘High acceleration events in dynamic sports’ by Professor Neil Mansfield, Nottingham Trent University
Many choose to participate in exhilarating sports, many of which involve high speed. Racing at the limit of skill and equipment performance inevitably leads to occasions where the limits are misjudged and crashes can occur. To mitigate the risk of injury, protective equipment is often required. This presentation will consider two scenarios where protective equipment is required: the winter sport skeleton, where head injury is a common outcome, and power boats where high acceleration events require isolating seating systems.

10:15 ‘Safety in unsupervised water sports’ by Michael Wright, Greenstreet Berman
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has researched and risk assessed water sports (at sea) including kayaking, swimming, sailing, scuba diving and surfing, and assessed the causes of accidents. Whilst many water sports events are supervised (such as team based and club based events), much sporting activity is not organised and takes place alone or in informal ‘friends and family’ groups. Accidents are associated with individual’s awareness and perceptions of risks, knowledge of safety precautions and sports skills. In the context of mass unsupervised participation, this has led onto interventions focused on how to influence individuals through public communications, education and messaging. These communications are designed to improve knowledge of risks and associated precautions, so that people are able and motivated to adopt recommended safe behaviours and precautions. The content and form of communications have used principles of risk communication and education to achieve influential messaging.

11:00 Break, refreshments, networking

11:30 ‘Connected athlete – wearables are variables’ by Daniel Simmons, CCD Design & Ergonomics
This is a collaboration with the Watt Bike Design Team, based in Nottingham. The team are developing a new app for tracking performance training data. As wearable technology and the connected athlete evolves, elite level training information is becoming more readily available to the masses, but how does everyone utilise this information? What do they need to see? We are in the midst of a digital revolution, with technological advances spanning across industries; from digital railways, to smart medical devices and sports performance data apps. Human Factors integration ensures we remember the user in development process, ensuring the transition to digital is safe, efficient and usable.

12:15 ‘Diving Incidents and Accidents’ by Gareth Lock, Human in the System
In high risk domains such as aviation, nuclear power and healthcare the role of human factors in accidents is well known and documented, however, such analysis is not effectively addressed in SCUBA diving incidents. Reports often focus on outcomes rather than contributory factors, factors which often involve human error or human performance variability. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the risks involved and, through a number of case studies, highlight the human factors which contributed to the incident. It will then go on to highlight the challenges faced in improving diving safety given the culture within the sport which prevents reporting of incidents so that improvements can occur.

13:00 Lunch

14:00 ‘Adapted sport for the visually impaired’ by Michael Fray, Loughborough University
Any reduction in visual perception and/or information impairs the access to sport within the VI population.  Visually impaired adults are among the lowest participators in sport in adulthood. A range of projects delivered and currently in development will explore how an ergonomics approach has supported VI people to access various sporting activities and improve sporting performance. Boccia England have adopted a device for target replication to enhance the user experience for the Paralympic sport. The ‘Running Line Project ‘ being rolled out in Leicestershire Schools is enabling 5-11 year old children to run independently. This age group has shown a profound effect in their physical activity, running speed, gait and confidence with the simple piece of adapted technology.  Current adapted sport projects include the use and development of sound balls in target games, physical guiding to enable a blind person to complete 400m track run independently, and the concept development of VI Rugby. This presentation will include both scientific and practical demonstrations of the projects.

14:45 ‘Encouraging participation in sport for all’ by Rebecca Canham and Michael Wright, Greenstreet Berman
The health and social benefits of sports are well known. At the same time there is clear evidence of a decline in sports participation and a rise in obesity. This has led to research and experimentation with novel ways of encouraging participation in sports, especially amongst children. Research has identified many social and personal barriers to engagement in sports, such as dislike of competitive sports, lack of acceptable changing facilities and adverse perceptions of some traditional sports. Accordingly, there has been experimentation with new non-competitive sports and new ways of promoting sports. This presentation will outline the underpinning research, rationale and outcomes of examples of new ways of encouraging sports participation.

15:30 Break, refreshments, networking.

16:00 ‘The Optimisation of Sports Systems’ by Paul Salmon, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Ergonomics research and practice is playing an increasing role in the design of sports systems, the optimisation of athlete and team performance, and the prevention of sports and outdoor recreation injuries. This presentation will describe a series of research projects in which ergonomics theory and methods are being applied to understand and optimise sports systems. These projects focus on understanding and enhancing performance and teamwork in elite women’s cycling and Australian Rules Football umpiring, the development of new performance analysis tools for professional football, and the prevention of running injury and concussion in rugby. The presentation will close by outlining a series of future ergonomics applications across different sports along with opportunities for advancing theory and methodology.

16:45 Summary and close

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