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If you sit longer than one hour and are not aware of time passing, a program or timer to remind you to take a microbreak every 30 minutes is important to prevent muscle strain. You must move at least once an hour to keep oxygen flowing to your soft tissues.
Watches and digital timers are the least expensive break timers available! If your watch has a "countdown and repeat" function, you can set it to "beep" every 15 minutes or so to remind you to take a break. (Note: Timex watches are the only ones we are aware of that have this feature, but others may, also.)
Break Time by Kadmi
$29.95 Set break time, frequency, and duration. You can either set break frequency and duration for microbreaks or for regular breaks,but not both. Reading mode disables keystroke detection to continue break reminders even when the keyboard is idle. Music (midi) files play during the break and you can load your own favorite music midi files into the folder to play during breaks. Silent mode is also available. Transparency of the reminder screen can be set to be more opaque with higher intensity work periods. Flexibility allows the user to move the display aside to finish current task after break has begun, or to lock the display during the break period. Many other options are available. No stretches are available with this software. Free 30-day trial prior to purchase. For use with Windows 7, Vista, 2000, and XP.
Timeout for Mac
FREE! Gently reminds you to take breaks and microbreaks. Breaks are fully configurable. You can even program it to play a piece of music (pausing iTunes). OS X 2.4 or later. Time Out 2 available for Snow Leopard. Express and Pro versions are available at very moderate cost or donation.http://www.dejal.com/timeout/
$44.95. Yoga-based stretches with customizable music sound files or an optional "time-to-stretch" reminder instead of the animated stretches. 36 stretches with 6 standing stretches. Breaks are based on keyboard and mouse use. Total control over the sequence of stretches that appear.http://www.paratec.com/index.htm
| A.R.M.S. (Avoid Repetitive Motion Syndrome)
$49.95 Basic version. Monitors use of keyboard and mouse time and provides exercises for just the hands, arms, and wrists. Exercise manager allows modification of stretch program.
$79.95 Deluxe version. Does everything the Basic version does, but also provides exercises for the neck, shoulders, and back, records computer activity in a log file, and allows the addition of plug-in exercises. Available for Windows only.Micronite
Monitors keyboard and mouse use and suggests appropriate times for breaks and micro-pauses. Provides stretches, ergonomic information, and helps you recover if you are suffering from symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injuries. Yes! It's for the Macintosh!
ErgoTimer/ErgoTimer Pro App
MacBreakZ from PublicSpace.net
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