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Occupational physiology

The occupational physiology area seeks to assess the human body’s physiological responses to varying climatic conditions, including hot, humid and cold, dry environments. By manipulating and controlling the ambient conditions, we are able to better understand how the body’s various physiological systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular and thermoregulatory) respond to extreme weather conditions while wearing protective equipment required of the profession. These occupations include firefighters, police officers, paramedics and military. We are able to simulate working environments through serious game technology to assess the physical and cognitive abilities with real-life scenarios. The ultimate goal of this research area is to optimize the working performance of these employees, and reduce the number of injuries that occur on the job. 

Faculty members

Selected Publications and Grants

Williams-Bell, F.M., Kapralos, B., Hogue, A., Murphy, B.M., & Weckman, E.J. Use of serious games and virtual simulations in the fire service: a review. Fire Technology, May, 1-32, 2014, DOI: 10.1007/s10694-014-0398-1.  

Williams-Bell, F.M., Boisseau, G., McGill, J., Kostiuk, A., & Hughson, R. Physiological responses and air consumption during simulated fire fighting tasks in a subway system. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, Metabolism, 35(5), 671-678, 2010.

Williams-Bell, F.M., Boisseau, G., McGill, J., Kostiuk, A., & Hughson, R. Air management and physiological responses during simulated fire fighting tasks in a high-rise structure. Applied Ergonomics, 41(2), 251-259, 2010.

Williams-Bell, F.M. , Villar, R., Sharratt, M., Hughson, R. Physiological demands of the Candidate Physical Abilities Test. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(3), 653-662, 2009.