John Frazier Dobson. “Your Health vs. Your PC.” Computer Shopper, New York, Oct 1997.
"CRS: Computer-Related Syndrome: The Prevention and Treatment of Computer-related Injuries" paints a grim picture of what most of us think of as technological progress. After all, who wants to go back to the old days of cranking sheets of paper in and out of a manual typewriter, manually returning the carriage after each line, and physically correcting and retyping errors? Authors Richard dean Smith and Steven T. Garske might.
The two point out that the old way of typing may have been inconvenient, but it was “an almost aerobic exercise.” Now we can do more and with even less movement—and this isn’t good for us. As they note, “Even though keyboard workers appear to be sedentary, they are at greater risk for physical injury than heavy industrial workers.”
CRS provides complete descriptions of what a sedentary, keyboard-intensive job can do to everything from the fingertips to the jaw, in unnerving detail. And it’s amazing how such seemingly minor details as the force with which your fingertips hit the keys can add up to severe pain down the road. The details are numerous, but the major points are recounted in a handy checklist at the end of the book. There are also a number of exercises included to help you prevent injury. The descriptions of these do become a bit confusing, but most are illustrated with photographs. These exercises are simple and don’t require much added equipment, and do appear (based on this author’s experience) to provide some relief after a long session at the keyboard. Some of them, it must be noted, are geared specifically for the home-office worker (since they involve lying down), but there are also a few provided for the cubicle dweller.
CRS is a useful and convincing book. The authors’ frequent references to classical literature (an odd feature—there are references to or quotes from Herman Melville, Samuel Johnson, and Emily Dickinson in the first three chapters alone) make CRS enjoyable. And Smith and Garske’s obvious expertise was impressive enough to make us change our own typing posture.
Causes Richard Smith Supports