05/22/2024: Using Wearable Devices & Deep Learning to Recognize Physical Activities at Work

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

9 - 10 AM HST | 12 - 1 PM PT | 2 - 3 PM CT | 3 - 4 PM ET

Photo of Yishu Yan

About the webinar:

Accurately quantifying and evaluating occupational physical activities (OPAs) performed by workers is vital for various purposes, including job descriptions, pre-placement/post-hire employee screening, ergonomic evaluations, and facilitating return-to-work processes. Certain OPAs, such as lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying, are categorized as manual material handling activities, which are known to be associated with an increased risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), particularly lower back pain. This presentation will explore the utilization of wearable devices and deep learning methods for recognizing OPAs, both when performed in isolation and as part of simulated work tasks.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Recognize the significance of accurately identifying and evaluating OPAs

  • Identify how manual material handling activities can increase the risk of work-related MSDs
  • Describe how wearable devices and deep learning methods can be used to recognize and reliably quantify OPAs

Speaker: Yishu Yan, PhD Candidate

Yishu, a PhD candidate, conducts research in the UC Human Factors and Ergonomics Lab and the Berkeley BioMechanics Lab. She holds a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Hohai University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Her research primarily focuses on quantifying physical exposures, recognizing occupational physical activities using machine learning, and studying human-computer interaction.


The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 Contact Hour. Participants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.

Certificates of Completion

Certificates of Completion will be available to webinar participants who are present for the complete, live webinar, and logged in with their registered email address. Call-in attendees are not eligible for certificates at this time - Please download the Zoom app to log in via email on your smartphone whenever possible.

In order to receive your Certificate of Completion, qualified learners must complete the post-webinar evaluation within 7 days of the webinar. A link to the evaluation will be emailed to qualified learners 24 hours after the webinar via no-reply@zoom.us. Qualified learners who submit their evaluation will receive a Certificate of Completion via email, and can also print/save the certificate from their browser after submitting their evaluation.

If you're not able to attend the live presentation, no problem! We record most presentations and will host them on our website provided we have permission to do so. Presentation recordings are not eligible for Certificates of Completion.


If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this event, please contact Will Bellamy at (510) 642-8365 or wbellamy@berkeley.edu with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.



The Northern Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) and its sister centers at Los Angeles and Irvine serve government, industry, schools, health professionals, and the general public through programs and partnerships designed to deepen understanding of occupational and environmental hazards and to prevent disease, fatalities, and injuries.