Stop Staring at That Monitor! (And Reduce Injuries at Work)

Scirocco Take a BreakRepetitive stress injuries can be bad news for business. And the misuse of the computer is a factor. Even when companies go the extra step of providing ergonomic workstations, that doesn’t enforce good work habits among employees. Poor posture and overlong sessions in front of the computer can lead to pain in the wrists, arms, and back. One way to fight back is to take frequent breaks when using the computer. If you can’t rely on your own sense of the clock (or personal discomfort!), there are a host of applications that can help remind you when it’s time to step away from the keyboard. Here are four that received high marks on Download.com (one of our sister sites at CNET).

 

Scirocco Take a Break 2.7

  • Pros: It’s free and simple to set up.
  • Cons: It has no other features aside from the break reminders. 

TakeYourBreak 1

  • Pros: It’s free and has a wide choice of break options.

  • Cons: Busy GUI takes time to get used to.

RSI-Shield 4.5.1

  • Pros: Includes exercises, complete with animated illustrations, to help prevent RSI and eye strain. Includes extras to create macros for frequently-performed tasks, and lock the keyboard and mouse during breaks.
  • Cons: The settings are somewhat complex and set up takes time. It has a 16MB download size. 

Stretch Break 6.1

  • Pros: Extensive library of illustrated stretches. Tips to set up an ergonomic workstation.

  • Cons: Stingy 10-day trial. Hefty 22+MB download.