We all know that as computer users that we should stop and take a break regularly.  Stretch, stand-up, drink some water, possibly go for a short walk or even more. It’s a great theory but when we’re on a deadline for work or school or we’re just trying to get that last achievement in game it is something that is very easy to have fall by the way side.

Office stretching

Luckily computers are very good at counting and remembering to do rote things. There are number of possible apps to do this depending on your platform.

For PC users they range from the very simple like BreakTaker which sits in your system tray and pops up a notification once an hour (or other set period) reminding you to move to something far more featured like Workrave.

Workrave gives you far more control and lets you setup specific amount of time until you take a break.  It then pops up notifications first at the edge of the screen and then more and more intrusively in the centre of your window. It also monitors keyboard and mouse movements so if you stop typing and moving the mouse it can assume you’ve gotten up and do not need to be reminded and finally it can sync the amount of time since the last break between machines.

If you prefer having the timer on your phone there are many apps available from the simple Twenty: Stand Up to a more fully feature MoveItMoveIt.

If you want to go lower tech a kitchen Egg Timer like Amazon one will let you set an alarm for anytime in the next hour.

In the end it does not really matter which system you choose to use or even if you just keep an eye on a clock but try moving occasionally. Your back and neck will thank you.

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