FLOW: WHAT IS IT?
HOW DOES FLOW WORK?
MODE OF USE
EXERCISE? WHO HAS THE TIME?
WHO SAYS I NEED TO EXERCISE PERIODICALLY?
MINIMUM COMPUTER REQUIREMENTS
THE PEOPLE AT FLOW
FLOW is a software program built with the primary goal of improving the physical and mental health among people who use computers as a significant part of their work day. FLOW provides a set of 7 different 5-minutes videos as well as motivational and inspirational messages to increase health-awareness among users.
FLOW is the end result of the integration of knowledge derived from years of scientific research in the areas of psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, endocrinology, and anatomy/physiology.
EXERCISE: Every pre-set interval, a small window pops into your screen inviting you to “sit-exercise.” You can engage in as many 5-minute exercise sessions as you wish, while sitting at your desk. All exercises are designed to be performed in a sitting position and cover all big muscle groups including chest, abdominals, biceps/triceps, shoulders, back, legs, and full body strecthing.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: If you are on a diet, FLOW can help you maintain your motivation to eat properly. Daily prompts are essential to keep the focus on any long-term goal. FLOW provides you with daily “reminders” that will fuel your self-confidence and determination to eat healthy. FLOW also keeps you updated on nutritional information and tips to protect yourself against temptation
and self-sabotaging thoughts.
POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS: FLOW also features stress-reducing positive affirmations, especially helpful in the midst of a busy, tension-filled workday. Research about the mind-body connection shows that positive thinking has the power of counteracting feelings of anxiety or frustration, negative thinking, and the release of stress-hormones stimulated by negative thinking. A decrease in negative thinking and feeling, and reductions of stress hormones all have an overall positive impact on our physical and mental health.
1. EXERCISE VIDEO
The exercise video includes seven 5-minute long videos (mini-sessions) displaying a fitness expert performing, and providing instructions for, seven different physical exercises: 1. Chest; 2. Biceps and Triceps; 3. Shoulders; 4. Abdominal muscles; 5. Back; 6. Legs and Buttocks; and 7. Stretching. Except for Stretching, each mini-session devotes one minute of “sit-running” or “punching” cardiovascular activity. The remaining 4 minutes include exercises for the corresponding body part. Each mini-session contains an average of 7 different exercises for each body part.
2. NUTRITION CENTER.
The “Nutrition Center” provides: 1) nutritional information, and 2) motivational cues for users who want to improve, or maintain their already improved, eating habits.
1) The nutritional information includes:
a. Recently released official information from a variety of sources (e.g., governmental reports, medical/psychological/fitness journals).
b. Nutrition guidelines for maintaining a balanced, low-calorie, nutritional diet.
c. Tips to protect against negative environmental influences.
d. Ongoing nutritional information updates through our Website.
2) Motivational Statements
The motivational statements remind you of your determination to maintain healthy eating habits. It also provides protective tips against environmental temptations and self-sabotaging thoughts. Examples of motivational statements include: "How long does it take you to eat a doughnut or a bag of chips? And how long does it take you to regret it and forgive yourself?" or " Why is junk food more important than your self-esteem?" or " Remember: You are not on a diet. You are on a mission to regain you own self-respect."
The “Inspiration” function offers you a positive alternative approach to view ordinary day-to-day setbacks. Each positive affirmation, spoken by a soothing female voice, lasts approximately 10-seconds. Examples of some of these statements include: "It’s not about falling. It’s about getting up again." or "You are your own master. Have you been consulting yourself lately?" or "Life may not always grant us our wishes, but it always grants us the road to our wishes."
4. VIRTUAL COUCH
Every 4th time you choose to skip the program, a small window will pop up on your screen and the "Virtual Couch" will encourage you to continue using the program. This function was designed as a tool to remind you about the importance of sticking with an exercise program with consistency.
USE OF MINI-SESSIONS
Once installed, the program will start running automatically. A very small prompt-window appears in the upper corner of the computer monitor, asking you if you wish to engage in an exercise session. You can accept by clicking “play,” and begin the session, or decline by clicking “skip.” If you click "play," an approximately 4” X 5” window will appear, and an exercise video will start playing. If you click "skip," then the same prompt-window will pop up after 15 minutes. You can reset the interval times of the prompt-window to 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours, or you can disable it for the day by quitting the program. To quit the program, you just have to right-click the icon on your bottom tool bar, and then click "quit."
If you choose to skip the program four consecutive times, the Virtual Coach will be activated. This function features a clip of your virtual coach motivating you to stick to your goal of exerciseing regularly. The Virtual Coach is enabled by default, but it can be manually disabled. Once the program is shut down and restarted, the initial setup is re-established.
The program provides an automated sequence of exercises. However, you can bypass it and choose the particular body part you desire to exercise. Although the computer automatically runs mini-sessions individually, you can run two or more consecutive sessions by individually clicking the ones you desire on the interface panel. The program is automatically set up to display the exercise video together with music and the voiceover of the fitness trainer giving exercise instructions. Other sound options include:
verbal exercise instructions WITHOUT music
positive affirmations WITH music
music WITHOUT the instructor’s voice
You can continue reading from the monitor or talking over the phone with the aid of headphones or on speaker mode while exercising.
USE OF NUTRITION CENTER
You can gain access to nutritional information/tips, and motivational statements by clicking on the “Nutrition Center” button. Once you do, the program offers two options:
When you choose to access the nutritional information application, a window opens up with a table of contents. You can then select the kind of information you desire to access. If the “Motivational Statements” button is pressed, randomly chosen motivational statements appear, one at a time, on the screen. You have to click again on the Motivational Statements button to read a different motivational statement.
USE OF “INSPIRATION” APPLICATION
You can access “Inspiration” by clicking on the “Inspiration” button. Once activated, a relaxing female voice begins reciting randomly chosen inspirational statements, one after the other.
Incorporating exercise into our daily routine has become a colossal challenge in the context of our modern society. Barriers including lack of time, underused will power, fatigue, lack of self-motivation, bad weather, and poor access to exercise facilities make the goal of daily exercise a good theoretical plan but a less-than-practical experience (1). That’s why FLOW was created: to remove all these barriers by bringing your workout to your workplace.
FLOW was designed for computer operators who spend many hours sitting at their desks. FLOW is for adolescents and adults, students and workers, men and women, athletic, as well as sedentary, individuals. All you need is a computer and the desire to give your body the opportunity to develop and or maintain its physical and mental health. Here is a list of advantages of FLOW.
A. FLOW BRINGS YOUR WORKOUT TO WORK.
Because of its short duration, FLOW can be easily incorporated into the work routine of any computer operator. According to research, return of physical activity to the daily routine is essential to our health (2), especially when the characteristics of the job severely limit our body movement. FLOW provides the opportunity to reinstitute physical movement during such chair-bound activity as prolonged computer use.
B. FLOW IS BRIEF
The brevity of each session’s duration is a great motivator for sedentary adults to initiate and maintain exercise activity. Scientists believe that moderate exercise increases the probability that you are going to exercise consistently (3). Also, brief exercise sessions can be especially encouraging when you know that they can be as effective as long bouts in facilitating weight reduction (4, 5, 6), improving health (7) and fitness levels (8), increasing energy, and reducing tension (9). In addition, FLOW’s exercise intensity can be regulated by the addition of hand weights and by adding as many sequences of exercise as desired.
C. FLOW IS YOUR VIRTUAL COACH
FLOW provides ongoing motivational cues to reinforce your motivation to exercise and your self-monitoring habits.
D. FLOW IS AFFORDABLE.
FLOW provides ready and affordable access to exercise equipment. It does not require special attire, specialized accessories, the supervision of a fitness trainer, and it is not weather-dependent. All you need is the software program and a desktop or laptop.
E. FLOW FLOWS WITH YOU
FLOW can be carried in your laptop or on a CD and used wherever you go. Whether you travel a lot, or need to work at your computer on different locations, you don’t need to interrupt your workout routine anymore.
F. FLOW ELIMINATES CRAVINGS FOR SWEETS, CAFFEINE, AND TOBACCO
Studies show that short bouts of physical exercise can provide you with the boost of energy that people typically look for when they snack, drink coffee, or smoke cigarettes. Research has indicated that most people tend to consume these products and break diets when they feel fatigued, sleepy, and/or tense (9, 10). Short bouts of physical activity have the power to automatically increase your mental alertness and physical energy. In addition, after a brief exercise session, the cravings for these products are gone.
Heavy reliance on car transportation; increased sedentary leisure-time activities (e.g., television, home computers, movies, and video games), the increasing use of electric domestic devices that substitute man’s physical labor, and the escalating use of personal computers at work are all factors which have led to a dramatic reduction in physical activity (2). Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work, and for many of us, working means sitting at our desks fixing our eyes on a screen and freezing our bodies in a locked position for several consecutive hours. It has been widely recognized that repetitive daily tasks can take a toll on our physical health. In
addition, lack of physical activity can lead to the development of many chronic diseases, including overweight (11), diabetes (12, 13), and some forms of cancer (14). With FLOW, you can exercise while sitting at your desk! FLOW gives you the opportunity to engage in moderate activity during 5-minute breaks, stimulating your cardiovascular system and toning your muscles without the need to interrupt your work routine, including reading from your screen, talking on the phone, or participate in conference calls.
Regular physical activity is essential. Research shows that exercising regularly can substantially improve the health and quality of life of overweight and non-overweight individuals alike (15). Regular physical activity helps reduce the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other conditions (15, 16); it prevents chronic diseases (17, 18, 15) including diabetes (12, 13, 19, 20); cardiovascular diseases (7, 21, 22); and some forms of cancer, including breast, colon, and pancreatic cancers (14, 23, 15); it helps maintain a healthy weight (5, 24, 15), as well as bones, muscles, and joints (16); it boosts the immune system against some infectious diseases (25, 26, 27, 28); and it prevents and/or reduces the incidence of overweight (11). Regular physical activity also helps reduce feelings of depression (29), anxiety, stress (30, 31), and promotes overall feelings of well-being (11).
“Too much of a good thing can kill you.”
Working is good. Stress is not. Stress is not good for your employees’ health, and therefore, it is not good for your business. Some jobs are particularly stressful. Deadlines, quotas, negotiations, personal confrontations, little outcome control, long working hours, all these are factors that may lead to the development of substantial levels of stress. In turn, research has shown that high and/or long-term exposure to stressful events may lead to the development of physiological illnesses (e.g., high cholesterol, high blood pressure and coronary disease, gastrointestinal problems), psychological dysfunction (e.g., depression, anxiety, interpersonal relationship problems), and behavioral problems, including absenteeism, low productivity, turnover, poor job-satisfaction, and lack of commitment (32). In addition, repetitive tasks, such as prolonged computer operation, increase the workers' risk of developing illness including repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, back, neck, and shoulder pain, headaches, overweight, and many other chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart diseases, and depression (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42).
Clearly, your business cannot run optimally in the hands of unhealthy employees. Conversely, and according to research, the promotion of employees' health simply translates in increased business productivity.
Regular physical activity helps reducing feelings of depression (29), anxiety, stress (30, 31), and promotes overall psychological well-being (11). In addition, exercising regularly can improve people’s performance on certain cognitive tasks, including attention and processing speed, planning, scheduling, and working memory (43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48). Finally, adherence to a daily exercise routine has proven to reduce health care costs, absenteeism, and turnover (49), all factors that can have a great impact on your business. FLOW provides the opportunity to help employees prevent all these illnesses while protecting yourself from liability. In addition, adopting the daily habit of using FLOW may also increase your employees’ morale and improve their perception of management support. Your employees will be healthier and more content and their productivity will increase. At the same time, your employees’ injuries liability, turnover, absenteeism, "presenteism," and health-care cost will all decrease.
FLOW’s non-intrusive, adaptive capability allows employees to adjust their exercise needs to the characteristics of their job. You can pre-determine the amount of time allowed to exercise during working hours, as well as the number of session that can be used consecutively. Thus, if you want to allow only 5 minutes breaks, you can set up this timeframe during installation. FLOW will adapt to your business necessities without the need to disrupt or interrupt the rhythm of work.
If you are a student, you will agree that computers are becoming an indispensable research, writing, designing, administrative, managing, communications, and entertainment tool! As a result, you probably spend long hours sitting at your desk, eyes fixed on the computer screen, slouched back, body frozen into one position. In addition, studying can be a tedious activity, one that can lead to boredom and fatigue. Studies show that most people tend to resort to sweetened products (e.g., coffee, candy bars, pastries, sodas), as well as cigarette smoking, alcohol, and/or other drugs, to relax, release tension, and keep themselves awake and temporarily energized (50, 51, 52). Unfortunately, the combination of lack of physical movement and overconsumption of the aforementioned products can be dangerous to your health (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42). Alcohol and drugs can lead to depression and other severe health problems. Consumption of refined sugar over time may overstimulate the pancreas and result in the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It is a known fact that students in their first years of college gain a considerable amount of weight, a factor that can pave the way to other physical and psychological problems. FLOW can help you deal with these difficulties WHILE you study. Studies show that breaking every hour for even short bouts of physical activity may result in increased feelings of energy, release of tension, and decreased cravings for sweetened products (50, 51). In addition, when you exercise regularly, you increase the amount of calories burned each day, substracting a substantial number of calories from your “calories account” on a daily basis. By the end of the week, and provided that you did not increase your food consumption, you will simply be losing weight.
Minimum Computer System Requirements:
Microsoft® Windows 2000, Microsoft® Windows XP, Mac OS version coming soon
600 mhz or faster processor, 256 MB RAM, 64 MB Video Ram
CD-ROM Drive. 1GB of hard disk space, 800X600 display.
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Renée Nasajón, Psy.D., P.A., President
Dr. Renée Nasajón is a Florida licensed clinical psychologist, with vast experience in the area of behavioral medicine, adult/adolescent clinical psychology, and research. Dr. Nasajón obtained her doctoral degree from Miami Institute of Psychology, and her training and post-doctoral degrees at University of Miami. Dr. Nasajon lives in Miami, Florida, and attends patients in her own private practice.She participates in webcast presentations provided by the Clinical Directors Network Inc. (CDN), and provides consultation for various research projects. Dr. Nasajon is the conceptual creator of FLOW, and president of The E Wave Corporation.
Tony Nasajón, Treasurer
Mr. Tony Nasajón is an entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience in business management and business administration. Mr. Nasajón is the president of New City Inc., an internationally renowned company within the watch industry. He is also the director of Blestar, a Mexico-based company with offices in Latin America, U.S.A., and China, dedicated to the import and distribution of promotional products. Mr. Nasajon is the administrator at The E Wave Corporation. You can visit Tony Nasajón's companies at www.newcityinc.com and www.blestar.net
Lisa Gaylord has over thirty years of formal martial arts training and over twenty years experience in the fitness industry. A former national kickboxing and karate champion, she holds four black belts and is a weapons specialist. She is also the creator of the KardioKombat program for instructor training & certification. Lisa Gaylord is considered a professional motivator, able to empower persons to take the physical and mental steps toward their health and fitness goals through guided motivational training. Regarded as an authority and specialist, she is a respected trainer, instructor, continuing education provider and international presenter. Ms. Gaylord is the fitness intructor/motivator at FLOW. For more information about Lisa Gaylord, go to www.kardiokombat.com
Miguel Ortega is a graphic design artist with almost 10-year experience in the area of advertising, web and print design. He graduated from Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles, CA, and is currently working with visual effects at Luma Pictures, a Hollywood-based production company. Some of the companies that used his 3D creations include: Luma Pictures (see The Cave); Look FX Hollywood California; Discovery Channel; BLT & Associates; and Ted Perez & Associates. Companies with Mr. Ortega's designs include Iventa, Los Angeles; VBC Studios Miami; MarchFirst USWEB CKS MIAMI; and CinWin Advertising Ft. Lauderdale Fl. Mr. Ortega is the designer of FLOW and creator of The E Wave Corporation website. For more information on Mr. Ortega's portfolio, please visit his website at www.warproductions.com, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anya Romanowski , MS, RD, CDN is a registered and NYS certified dietitian/nutritionist with a private practice at Healthy Plate LLC, and also employed by Transneuronix, Inc. as the Manager of Education and Training . Mrs. Romanowski is also a part-time nutrition consultant for Community Access, Inc. Prior to joining Transneuronix, Inc., Mrs. Romanowski worked for Clinical Directors Network, Inc., a not-for-profit network of primary care clinicians in Community/Migrant Health Centers, providing and improving comprehensive and accessible community-oriented primary and preventive health care services for poor, minority, and underserved populations. She also worked as the Director of Nutrition Services at God's Love We Deliver, a non-profit organization that provides free meals and nutrition services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses in New York City . Mrs. Romanowski is internationally recognized for her contributions in producing professional nutrition education materials and has over 10 years of experience as a speaker, appearing both on television and radio talk shows. She was the Guest Editor and a co-author for the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America's Spring 2002 newsletter, ACRIA Update , covering nutrition and HIV research. Mrs. Romanowski is the provider of nutritional information at FLOW . For more information about Mrs. Romanowski, you can visit www.healthyplate.com , or you can contact her at email@example.com
Rodrigo Lopresti is an actor/director/musician working in New York City for the past six years. He received his fine arts education at the Maggie Flanigan Studio and appeared in numerous TV commercials for global brands, including LEVI'S, JEEP, American Express, Ford, Pizza Hut, Wendy's, and Truth, among others, as well as in several movies, including Boiler Room, Bringing Rain, and Studio 54. His music has been included in the movie "The Final Days," directed by Guy Van Sant, the director of "Good Will Hunter."He has self-produced a music CD, and a short film, and is experienced in video and film recording and editing. Mr. Lopresti was the video maker of FLOW. For more information about Mr. Lopresti, you can visit www.thehermitt.com, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlos Vela Sandquist
Carlos Vela Sandquist studied music in "Universidad Nacional" in Bogotá, Colombia, and other private conservatories. He is versed in Rock & Roll, Jazz, Latin, Triphop, Lounge, Jungle, Techno, Ambience, New Age, World Music with African influence, Colombian Folklore with electronic elements, and Classical music. His work has been aired in several TV shows and Café Concerts. Within the classical field he also worked with the concert pianists Tatiana Pavlova and Marta Senn. He collaborated with concert pianist Arnaldo García. Mr. Vela Sandquist is very well versed in piano, computer programs applied to music and music composition, and percussion. He owns a music studio, where he composes music for TV networks, such as RCN and CARACOL. As a composer he created the music for a YOGA CD, the music to promote the American Soccer Cup, and FLOW. He works with the "Ballet Contemporáneo de Barranquilla - EQUINOCCIO," as a composer and percussionist, with whom he has toured throughout Colombia , Greece , and France . Mr. Vela Sandquist is currently working on a music repertoire for the international renowned "Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro." Mr. Sandquistis is the creator of FLOW's music. For more information, you can contact Mr. Vela Sandquist at email@example.com.
Francis Benhamou is a versatile working actress living in New York City since 1999. She graduated from New York University with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in acting. Ms. Benhamou continued her fine arts education at the Maggie Flanigan Studio where she practiced the Meisner acting technique, Shakespeare, voice, and speech. She has worked in several Off-Broadway shows and independent short films. She has also done print work for several magazines, inlcuding Time Out Magazine, NY. She is FLOW's "voice." You can contact Ms. Benhamou at firstname.lastname@example.org .