Most of us are probably aware of the fact that using the computer continuously for prolonged periods of time may lead to multiple health related complexities including Repetitive Strain Injuries. In spite of that most of us pay little attention to our body until it’s too late. Workrave is a free and open source utility for Windows and Unix (Linux/Solaris/BSD), which helps you avoid RSI by forcing you to take breaks at regular intervals.
Workrave interface consists of three tiny progress bars. Each of these progress bars represent the different kinds of breaks Workrave implements. They are as follows:
- Micro-Break: Workrave enforces a short 30 second break every 3 minutes. It prompts you once the progress bar fills up and enters break mode as soon as you stop using your keyboard or mouse. You can chose to ignore the prompt, however in that case Workrave will prompt you again after two and a half minutes.
- Rest Break: Rest Breaks are of longer duration (10 minutes) and by default Workrave prompts you to take a rest break once in every 45 minutes. If you chose to ignore, it will prompt you once again after 3 minutes. You are also encouraged to perform short exercises in the rest break. Workrave includes instructions for some easy stress relieving exercises. All of the included exercises can be performed anywhere – even in your office.
- Daily Limit: Workrave also keeps track of total time you have spent working on your computer. Once it reaches 4 hours, Workrave will prompt you to turn off your computer.
Workrave allows users complete freedom in choosing how often they wish to be reminded. The interval and durations for all the breaks can be changed. You also have the option of simply skipping your breaks, in which case Workrave will completely forget about it. The other nice thing about Workrave is that, it keeps track of your computer usage. If you stop using the mouse and keyboard, the timers will automatically be paused and break meters will start filling up.
Techie Buzz Verdict
If you work in an IT company or spend long hours in front of your computer, Workrave is a must have. It provides more features than other freeware break timers and annoys you just enough so that you take your breaks.
Ratings: 4.5/5 (Excellent)