Working on a computer for long hours can cause several health problems – eye strain, headache, backache, burning eyes and so on. The only way to avoid these symptoms is to take short breaks at regular intervals. But the problem is most users fail to remember to take breaks. This is when the following tools come handy.
Eyes Relax is an excellent little free Windows utility that reminds you to take rest and save your precious eyesight. The level of flexibility in this program is amazing. The user can set the duration of their work time and length of breaks. By default, the work time is set at only 10 minutes which will be too frequent for most people. Set it to around 60 minutes or lesser and the break time to 5 minutes or 10 minutes. Of course, you are free to choose your own rest duration.
As the break time approaches, the program pop-ups a notification with a countdown timer. This notification time is set to 30 seconds, but it can be changed. You can also disable the notification message altogether. Finally when it’s time to take a break, you can choose how you want the program to remind you. You can opt for a subtle reminder like a balloon notification or a more aggressive one that blanks the screen.
If you are the type of person who turns off the alarm clock in the morning and goes back to sleep, you can set the program to make it impossible to cancel the rest break so that you are forced to stop working whether you like it or not.
Eyes Relax also has a Parent mode that can be used to protect your children, forcing them to take breaks. In parent mode the program cannot be disabled and the computer is password-protected during a break.
If you don’t want to be bothered, but rather just want to keep track of the amount of time you spent in front of the monitor and decide for yourself when it’s the right time to take breaks, try Anti-Strain Alarm Clock.
Anti-Strain Alarm Clock displays a transparent clock at the top of the screen that shows the amount of time you have been working. It also has a rest reminder that shows up every 60 minutes.
Also see Workrave