Dr Valerie Rice co-presented a podcast by the UK Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, and the US-based Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. The topic was Mindfulness Meditation and was comprised of a number of my prior presentations on Mindfulness, including some of our research results. Dr. Rice’s overview about the presentation and a short bio, both of which are shown on their website. The podcast original air date was Jan 9, 2019.
This joint webinar between CIEHF (UK) and Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (USA) will introduce listeners to mindfulness meditation, and in particular, to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). MBSR consists of a secular series of classes and mindfulness practices, first introduced in the west by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centers’ Pain Clinic. Since then, it has been introduced in hospitals, businesses, and wellness centers around the world. It is the most researched type of mindfulness teachings, perhaps due to its’ specific sets of trainings and meditation practices, that it, it is ‘repeatable’, known, and can be compared with other research findings.
Our studies on mindfulness training with US active duty military and veteran service members are investigating the impact of mindfulness training on personal resilience and readiness (physical, cognitive, and emotional), including assessments of self-report, neuro-cognitive performance (executive functioning), and physical measures, all of which are essential to task and mission performance of individual and military teams.
Our research findings provide information to guide design of training policies and programs to optimise personal and system performance and enhance well-being. In this manner, we are methodically investigating the two most prominent methods of teaching MBSR (in-person 8-wk classes and in-person 5-day classes), as well as 8-wk classes delivered over a virtual world, abbreviated classes (12-hrs), and soliciting feedback from attendees to militarize training for additional improvements in training and training outcomes.
Research on mindfulness has demonstrated improvements in working memory, longer teleomere length, increased immune function, reduced stress and anxiety, and reduction in symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, psoriasis, depression, inflammatory bowel-disease, chronic pain, high-blood pressure, and a number of other conditions. Improvements in work performance include enhanced decision-making, better-quality awareness, lower susceptibility to distractions, and improvements in attention, concentration, leader effectiveness, and communication skills. Mindfulness training is quickly being adopted by health care professionals as one of the top behavioral life-style recommendations for overall health and well-being: Sleep, Diet, Physical Exercise, and Meditation.
About the Presenter
Valerie Rice is immediate past President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. She is part of the US Army Research Laboratory focusing on human factors/ergonomic applied research in health care, human performance, soldier resilience, and education for military health care professionals and paraprofessionals. Dr Rice has a Masters’ Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Puget Sound, a Masters’ Degree in Health Care Administration from Baylor University, and a doctorate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research with a specialty in Human Factors/Ergonomics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr Rice spent 25 years as an active duty Army Officer, retiring as a Colonel, and has conducted research for the US Army Research Laboratory for 16 years. Her research work has included physically demanding military tasks, cumulative trauma, field expedient technology use for identifying traumatic brain injury, teaching effectiveness comparing in-person training with virtual world training, improving learning and reducing academic attrition among combat medics, neurocognitive temporal training for performance enhancement, and mindfulness meditation for improving neurocognitive performance and personal resilience. She has edited one and co-edited two text books and presented/published over 100 professional articles.