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Computer Athlete’s Handbook NOW free online

Posted: December 3rd, 2009 at 8:47 pm / No Comments →

You can now read a FREE version of the Computer Athlete’s Handbook online at:

http://socialmediasystems.com/computerathlete

I decided to release the book online to help people find the book and benefit from it. It is fully SEO-optimized and ranks on the front page of google for computer injuries self help.

Making a Documentary! - Me at Bloblive - Feb 3rd

Posted: March 7th, 2009 at 9:35 am / No Comments →

You can check out my video at

http://www.bloblive.com/feb_3_2009_los_angeles.php . I am the 5th speaker.

At this bloblive, I announced that I am making a documentary about Computer Related Injury and Treatment Options with Solomon Rothman (www.moviepals.org). This documentary is my next milestone in my mission of helping people live happier, healthier techy lifestyles. The main focus of the documentary will be the causes, effects, and treatments of/for Computer Related Injury. In the treatments portion, I intend to tell people about the computer athlete concept to show people that they CAN find a way to achieve pain-free computing.

For this documentary, I am actively seeking participation from industry experts, injured users, authors, etc. This will be a collaborative effort and I hope to bring in as many people as possible in the process. Because it is a documentary, there is not a precise script. It is a journey to see who wants to contribute and how they want to contribute to make this documentary a reality.

If you are an injured user, industry expert, healthcare professional, author, or any other person who wants to add value to this project, I would love to hear from you and please email me at brian.bentow@computerathlete.net

I need your help! We need a diverse group of people with a diverse background and experience to make this documentary a success.

Computer Athlete Meetup Group Created!

Posted: February 15th, 2009 at 1:03 pm / No Comments →

You can sign up for the meetup here.

http://www.meetup.com/LA-Computer-Related-Repetitive-Strain-Injury-Support-Group/

I had wanted to create a meetup group for Computer Athletes for awhile. This week I got some responses back from people who were interested in the topic on Meetup.com so I decided to go for it.

I am very excited. I will summarize interesting things that happen at the meetups on this blog so that people can see what progress we are making. Please join the meetup group and attend the group to show your support.

Me at BlobLive

Posted: November 27th, 2008 at 8:52 pm / No Comments →

This past Monday, November 24th, I went to BlobLive and shared my idea about being a Computer Athlete. 

Let me know if you have any ideas on how I could have made my presentation better. I know that at the very least I could have had more energy, smiled more, etc.

Using a computer should not hurt - Repetitive Strain Injury

Posted: September 26th, 2008 at 7:57 am / No Comments →

Many people experience pain while using a computer. However, few people ask the question : Should using a computer hurt? This question could be debated. However, I believe that we can all agree that if using a computer doesn’t have to hurt and it is bad for it to hurt, then it is preferable for it to not hurt.

From my initial experience, I know that using a computer can hurt a lot. I have been in terrible pain at times in the early part of my career. On the other hand, I have also experienced times where using a computer did not hurt while following the principles of a Computer Athlete. By incorporating new tools and techniques, I have found that people can increase the amount of time they can spend on the computer without injurying themselves. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, becoming a Computer Athlete can be a staple of having a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Once you start questioning whether a computer should hurt or not, you may begin to question many other things. For example, is QWERTY, the standard keyboard key layout, the best possible layout? In what scenarios is the standard keyboard form factor optimal? Is it better to have or not have lumbar support and armrests? The answers to these questions affect the health and lives of hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of people on a daily basis.

It is a difficult road. Advocating for improving computer work conditions requires us to challenge conventions and standards that are ubiquitous like the QWERTY layout. We need to garner some attention and focus from people who are already busy and focused on solving other problems. Marketing the ideas of improving computer work conditions and bringing those ideas into the mainstream is expensive and challenging. Despite these challenges, it is clear to me that this is a very important task and can change the world. We can do this to improve the lives of our friends, family, and all other people who use a computer.

We need to work together and need lots of help. Will you help me?

Please contact us if you want to help.

How to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery

Posted: September 20th, 2008 at 6:39 pm / No Comments →

I believe that there are many situations that doctors help their patients with identifying and treating diseases. For example, if you have a bacteria infection, then prescribing antibiotics may do the trick. My point is simply that doctors cannot and should not be expected be solve all of our problems. One could argue that you should go to a specialist that has special training in your area. I agree. Unfortunately, many people go to chiropractors, family doctors, etc and do themselves a disservice.

One of the lessons that I learned the hard way was that traditional doctors and other medical professionals really can’t help you with your computer-related injuries.

Here’s my story . . . After an intense few months at work under stress, I developed chest pain. I became very concerned and sought medical attention. After spending several hundred dollars on an EKG, a blood test, Chest X-rays, and physical examinations, my doctor had no other recourse but to prescribe some anti-inflammatories or send me to a cardiologist. Obviously, this is just a single example and one should not make a sweeping generalization from it. However, from talking to chiropractors, doctors, reading blogs and other resources, I am convinced that my story is typical and not out of the norm. What makes my story unique is how I have solved the root cause of my problem. There are many people today living in intense pain without the insight or means to fix their problems. I want to change that.

The way I see it . . . Doctors can talk to you, prescribe and administer medication, perform surgeries, and run tests. None of these will change your work environment and solve the root cause. Unless your doctor analyzes and coaches you on your work habits, he will only be able to treat your symptoms and not the root cause.

Becoming a Computer Athlete is all about how YOU can change your habits and work environment to reach a state of pain-free computing. Avoiding computer related injury will provide you with almost incalcuable benefits.

I really hope that this idea catches on because it has the power to dramatically change how people with chronic pain are treated and “cured.”

Repetitive Strain Injuries/Carpal Tunnel/Trigger Finger

Posted: September 6th, 2008 at 3:18 pm / 2 Comments →

There are many books, websites, articles, etc about the different types of injuries or conditions that you can have from using a computer improperly: carpal tunnel, trigger finger, thorascic outlet syndrome, to name a few. I disagree with the convention of focusing on injuries and disorders (the problems) instead of focusing on the solutions : becoming a computer athlete.

The Computer Athlete approach focuses on solutions and not on problems. You can prevent these and other injuries by mastering the 5 areas : Equipment and Usage, Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning, Self-awareness and Self-Care, and Stress Management.

If you are in pain today, you should know that the body has an uncanny ability to heal itself over time and that if you change your habits and work environment, you can become a happy, healthy person again.

Computer Athlete’s Handbook Released!

Posted: September 6th, 2008 at 3:15 pm / One Comment →

The Computer Athlete’s Handbook is now available from Amazon or through the CreateSpace store

The purpose of the book is to explain the vision of a Computer Athlete and how you can become one. It is a motivational book that shows you how you CAN eliminate the pain you feel everyday through changing your habits and work environment.

For many of us, our habits and work environment are in our control. We determine what and when we eat, what we drink, what keyboard layout we use, etc. The book asks you to take personal responsibility for your healthcare outcome. We know that no matter how much a physician is incented or wants you to be healthy and pain-free, if you use your computer improperly, you will continue to have pain.

In fact, one Chiropractor I know says that around 75% of his patients come in for issues caused by their work at a computer. In addition, they continue to come in for treatments with little progress because they don’t fix the root cause. Sometimes, he even recommends that they take a look at their workstation setup or ergonomics. 

This book is for people who are:

  1. in pain today from carpal tunnel, trigger finger, thoracic outlet syndrome, or back pain
  2. have friends, family, or co-workers that are in pain
  3. people who want to get an extra edge
  4. people who use a computer for work or spend more than 10 hours a week on the computer
  5. looking to avoid developing computer-related injury

The ideas and techniques in this book have helped people in many different professions : students, writers, investment bankers, computer programmers, and others. 

There is nothing to lose and so much to gain. Get yourself a copy!

www.computerathlete.com/handbook

Balancing Yourself

Posted: August 23rd, 2008 at 2:17 pm / No Comments →

It has been a little over 5 years since I first began my quest to become a Computer Athlete. I started to develop the principles of a Computer Athlete out of necessity. I had to figure out a way to use a computer that was pain-free or find a job that didn’t require using a computer regularly.

Looking back on those years, I still remember the tremendous amount of time and energy I spent reading about ergonomics, reading reviews about keyboards, mouses, and other devices, being in pain, and worrying whether I would recover and how long it would take.

I want to share some of what I learned and my perspective in hopes that you will be able to directly benefit from it. Over time, as people ask questions, I will post interesting responses to the blog. So please leave comments, ask questions, or share some of what you learned.

Story

When I was on a leadership trip after college, I was in a group tasked with getting a group of ~15 people all on a narrow bar at the same time for 60 seconds. The challenge was that it was very difficult even for one person to balance himself on the bar for 60 seconds let alone 15 people trying to balance at the same time. I was selected as the leader of the team just by coincidence. Because I had no idea how we were going to accomplish this, my approach was to let people come up with ideas and try things and then we would evaluate those ideas as a team. Thinking that we were in a teamwork exercise, everyone focused on trying to work together to balance each other. For instance, two people would hold hands and try to counter-balance each other.

We failed! There was time pressure and we never figured out how to get everyone balanced at the same time. We later learned that the trick is to have everyone balance oneself and then when each person is individually balanced on the bar, the entire team will be balanced. There are still coordination and timing challenges to making this work for 60 seconds, but I won’t go into them.

This failure taught me something very important. Sometimes, the best way to accomplish a team goal is to simply focus on ourselves and our personal challenges. In relation to computer-related injury and health, I believe that individuals need to find out what exercise, equipment, sleep, nutrition, etc, they need to be happy and healthy. Also, we all need to take responsibility for the choices that we make and how they affect our health. Just as with sports, I think you can improve more quickly with coaching and guidance. To help solve the problem of computer related injury, I want to lead people and inspire them to figure out what they need to do in order to become a computer athlete and reach a state of pain-free computing.

I plan to share lessons learned, ideas, thoughts, and stories about how to overcome injury and challenges to becoming a computer athlete.

Please check back here and leave comments.