Would break-reminder software be useful for me?

To avoid physical problems when working at a computer, it is important that you alternate with other activities. Break-reminder software is available that can help you do that.

What is Workrave?

Workrave helps the user take regular breaks. This programme makes a distinction between two kinds of breaks: micro-pauses and rest breaks. As a user, you can adjust how long each kind of break should be, as well as the length of time between breaks. You can also set a daily work limit, such as 8 or 9 hours. Workrave notifies you of a break using a warning screen, which indicates how long until a break begins. If you wish, that screen can be accompanied by an audio signal. You can also set up Workrave to force you to take a break by blocking input and turning the screen black.

Where can I get Workrave?

A wealth of information can be found at www.workrave.com . Workrave can also be downloaded from that page for use at home or on a computer with a different operating system.

How do I set up Workrave?

Click on the little sheep in the system tray (in the lower right corner of your screen). A menu (applet) will appear with three ‘clocks’:

  •  Time till the next micro-pause

  •  Time till the next rest break

  •  Remaining work time for the day.

All of these values and what Workrave does can be set: Right-click on the applet. A menu will appear that includes the following choices:

  •  Rest break: Announce a break immediately

  •  Exercises: Show exercises immediately

  •  Preferences: All settings

  •  Close: Closes Workrave until the computer is restarted.

The Preferences dialogue has three options:  

  • Times: for the length of breaks, the time between them and the daily limit
  • User interface: for Workrave’s behaviour and visibility
  • Network: Not recommended.

Last Modified: 05-03-2015