The men and women serving in militaries around the world are no strangers to exertion. During training, and especially in live operations, service members place enormous strain on their bodies. It is not uncommon for individuals to push themselves to the point of exhaustion or injury.
Military leaders at all levels understand that people are their greatest assets. Protecting them from injury ensures a robust combat force ready to take on whatever situation is thrown at them. Leaders must understand what exertion is and how to manage the effects of exertion on the human body.
What is Exertion?
From a medical perspective, exertion is a measure of the energy used during physical activity. Exertion is a metric, measured as a percentage, that combines each user's heart rate and core body temperature with individual characteristics such as height, weight, age, resting heart rate, and resting core body temperature.
For military leaders, an excellent model to use when evaluating exertion levels in service members breaks an individual’s exertion score into one of three groups. Military personnel whose exertion percentage is 70% or below are considered to have low or moderate exertion levels. High levels of exertion fall between 70% and 90%. Finally, those individuals above 90% can be classified as very high exertion levels and are in danger of overexertion.
Once a member of your unit has an exertion percentage of over 90%, they are in real danger of injury. In order to maintain an effective combat unit, leaders must prevent their teams from overexertion.
While many people can see the benefits of monitoring troops' exertion levels, some will point out the difficulty in doing so. Until recently, tracking exertion in real-world situations was difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish.
Many foundational studies used to formulate exertion tracking equations and methods could only be conducted through using specific groups of people operating in controlled environments, such as laboratories and medical facilities, a far cry from battlefield conditions. While there has been some outstanding effort (the US Army in the lead in a lot of ways) only recently, with the development of wearable technology, have military leaders had a practical tool for tracking the exertion levels of their people.
Wearable technology can easily monitor biometrics such as heart rate, body temperature, and more to calculate exertion levels. The most useful wearables are rugged, water and heat resistant, and have internal power units with a battery life that lasts several hours. High-quality devices are simple & highly automated and allow for deep indoor signal penetration.
Military leaders will find features such as real-time tracking and the ability to set alerts effective at monitoring their entire team at once. For the first time in history, there is now a real and practical way to see when a team member is pushing their body too hard.
By monitoring their teams and preventing overexertion, military leaders can prevent some of the injuries that, until now, were somewhat beyond their control. Wearable technology is an excellent tool for avoiding unnecessary losses in troop strength due to injury. Whether you are a small team leader or responsible for hundreds of troops, invest in technology to prevent overexertion and keep service members in the fight.
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