Many of you will visit us as a part a journey of discovery as to why doing a seemingly simple task like sitting at a computer can have a wide range of life impacting consequences. Hopefully some of you are here in the hope of avoiding such consequences. We cannot tell you how you personally got Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, DeQuervains tendonitis or one of the myriad of conditions that can occur, but we can simply explain why all who use computers that do not understanding a very human condition, fatigue, could develop a condition as a consequence.
We were all designed to Fatigue!
That isn't designed to fail! Fatigue is fundamental to our design to warn us to stop and take a break. Fatigue causes ache, if we do not ache we do not go onto injure (fail).
Back when our design was being honed we seldom sat and did anything for hours and hours a day, and hundreds of days a year. Stone axes were seldom wielded (we suspect) many millions of times a year and a life expectancy of about 30 (possible due to some of those axes) would likely have made the development of chronic conditions less of a worry at that time and so nature may have overlooked the need to adapt us for sitting and working as we do today.
While she did make sure we notice aches and pains she also equipped us to temporarily ignore some of them under certain circumstance. One circumstance she saw most dire was anything "life threatening". Though in preparing us for this she assumed that under such a circumstance we would be "thinking, a lot" and planning our survival moment to moment. Consequently she designed pain and thinking circuits in the brain to overlap so that when we are actively thinking, concentrating, signals received over our pain circuits are "dulled", much like turning down the volume on a fire siren. As we describe it: "falling over to aches or pains too easily in those times could have been the difference between eating lunch and being lunch!" This process, described by brain and migraine researchers, is called Cognitive Distraction and is why when we are busy concentrating we do not notice the warning signs of fatigue so stop awhile, which might help us to avoid many of the clinical conditions that can be directly correlated with it. We view Cognitive Distraction as the "missing link" in the understanding as to why extensive hours of computer work may cause many of the fatigue related syndromes people have to live with today.
Fatigue is a flag as to muscle "supplies" being low. It is caused by a build up of toxic byproducts of our muscle biochemistry. We can continue to work under those circumstances because we are assumed to be in survival mode [CD is a primeval survival mechanism]. But typing that report or surfing the web are likely to be less critical to our long term survival than they are necessary to satiate our short term perception of need. This is a part of the challenge in putting things right. The instinct involved is survival which was not anticipated as being activated by an enduring short term stimulus of need. It is mostly down to us as individuals as to how we cope with all these "opposing forces. Until the first baby is born with a USB port instead of a tummy button we suspect that nature will leave us to sort this one out by ourselves.
Those who do not know of the fatigue issue, or cannot see the benefits of changing the way they have been taught to work since the dawn of the computer mouse will not see a reason to change until it hurts! Much like many only see the benefit of wearing a seatbelt an inch or two from the windscreen they are about to fly through. We are concerned that statistics suggest that that 1 in 3 schoolchildren being taught to use a computer today will likely become impaired to a point of disability before they have repaid their student loans. We are not assuming the passing of mouse laws anytime soon, though one actually does exist in the US and that is a design standard called Section 508, required for all Federal Government purchases. Because there is no direction (ergonomic standards) and little if any clinical research by our industry into the way we work, save for our own AirO2bic mouse/CTS clinical study, anyone can make an "ergonomic product" without the need to explain why it is ergonomic. So in focusing upon what we (you) can do and remembering the fact that we cannot escape from fatigue, we have evolved a comprehensive and cohesive strategy that we call Anti.Fatigue™: -
Fatigue Management, Anti.Fatigue™.
There are two methods by which to approach this.
1. Use less fatigue inducing tools.
We opt for a functional neutral design, which is embodied in the AirO2bic mouse, also in our Click-less Software products that extend functional neutral capability to mouse clicking too. Functional neutral is like driving freeway miles instead of city miles. Because we do not have a gas gauge and, worst still, our exhaust (toxins) vent inside our car (muscles), periodically and empirically we have to stop, top off and wind the windows down. How to will be described below. Functional neutral (Working Postures) means that we seldom use those muscles that are most prone to fatigue injury. Review Products
Federal Government buyers please note that our products meet and exceed, in terms of grip, the standards required under Section 508 of the "Workforce Investment Act of 1998". So unlike ALL other conventional mice, procured standalone or as part of a computer system, which cannot comply with Section 508 due to their design, not only do we make IT purchases Accessible and most compliant, but we also might help to protect Federal Government Employees and members of the public that use Federal Government facilities from some of the types of impairment that Section 504 is designed to accommodate. Certain of our products are also supplied to persons with disability under Section 504 of the A.D.A. Please use the contact form below for more information and also GSA Section 508.
2. Manage fatigue by work duration relative to your personal endurance.
Because of Cognitive Distraction we believe another important tool in your survival kit is a break timer that empirically, based upon your own assessment of your level of fatigue, calls up a break that then seeks to de-fatigue by re-aerating you, relaxing you and then allowing re-equilibration of your muscle biochemistry. This is a patent pending technique unlike any other available today. It applies the 3 R's of Anti.Fatigue™, Re-Aeration, Relaxation and Recovery. An orchestrated process that recognizes and deals with fatigue at the physiological level. We believe this is as important as tool design as you may be able to use more fatigue inducing tools if you are prepared to stop and take a break more often. Brakemoor™ Overview or visit the Brakemoor™ website at www.brakemoor.com.
Download a free copy of BrakemoorShare™
iRelaxmoor™ is a media version (video or audio) for MP3 players of the Brakemoor™ program that will shortly becoming to iTunes and other download sites. iRelaxmoor™ is for those who travel so that they can use the same technique off computer and when on trains, boats and planes or even for those restless nights in hotel rooms.
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The AirO2bic Mouse design has been granted a U.S. Patent.
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