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.
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.
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.
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.