Survival of the most adaptable: Vital signs and performance monitoring to support military operationality

life VIPER

02 May 2023 13h00-14h00

by Dr. J. Van Cutsem & Prof. M. Van Puyvelde

“It is not the strongest, but the most adaptable that survive”, wrote Charles Darwin in 1859. A lot of our military operators need to function in what is called a vulnerable, volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environment. The VUCA environment demands a risk-accepting mindset with great situational awareness and enough flexibility to adapt to the continuous changing, challenging and extreme situations. These types of environments can be extreme in their harshness, they can be isolated and monotonous, dangerous, characterized by a lack of stimulation or over-stimulation etc. Their common factor is that they are atypical and challenge the human being in their mental and physical endurance, resilience, and adaptability. VIPER (Vital signs and PERformance monitoring) has a yearslong expertise in collecting field data in isolated, confined, and extreme environments. Our results show that the human body does not always obey the operational needs and that an individual tailored approach should become the base of future research and operational trainings. To assert, in the current webinar, we will present research from different military and non-military operating units such as SF-BEL operators, pilots, medical personnel, Antarctica hibernators, and submarine crews.

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