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What is a simple, small, yet nice RSI watcher for Windows?

I'm looking for a free program that pops up every half an hour and reminds you to take a few minutes off and stretch yourself. I've found Stretch Break, which costs money. Any alternatives?

marked as duplicate by quack quixote, ripper234, Ivo Flipse Jan 22 '10 at 7:31

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • i swear i've seen this asked before, but my searches aren't finding anything. :-/ – quack quixote Jan 21 '10 at 21:29
  • Actually, yes. Here: superuser.com/questions/6033/… I just searched here for "Workrave". – JMD Jan 21 '10 at 21:31
  • @jmd: thanks, that's the one i was thinking of. – quack quixote Jan 21 '10 at 22:01

Check out Workrave.

  • Free? Check.
  • Has sheep? Check.

Workrave is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit. Please refer to the feature comparison for a complete list of features, and how the program performs with respect to other programs on the market. The program runs on GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows.

Workrave rest break

And if that's not enough, here's a comparison of many RSI-prevention utilities (albeit, authored by Workrave).

  • you know why scotsmen wear kilts, dontcha? – quack quixote Jan 21 '10 at 21:27

For Windows? Windows Task Scheduler can run any program you like, so pick something (a music player, for example, or a JPG viewer showing a JPG that says "Take a break!") and schedule it to start whenever you want to take breaks.

For Linux, a cron or at script can do the same thing.

All free with your operating system of choice.

Here are the steps to Display a Pop-Up Message in Windows

  • i' ve done this at work with rundll32 and MessageBox .. pretty hacky :) – akira Jan 22 '10 at 4:45
  • i used at + mpg321 + a textfile playlist of MP3s for a wake-up alarm in college. – quack quixote Jan 22 '10 at 5:19

Check out the Pomodoro technique. See http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/ for more information.

There's a number of timers out there that implement pomodoro. A quick Google turned up:

www.focusboosterapp.com/ (AIR app, runs on Windows, Mac, Linux) www.designinginteractive.com/reviews/my-favorite-pomodoro-timers/


Reflexion makes sure you take a break.

Often when doing programming one forgets the time and the necessity to take a break a regular intervals. Reflexion will gently tell you it's time for this. Stretch your legs and get a coffee. While nipping on your drink ponder upon the way you are tackling the problem. Many times you find a better and easier way saving you time and effort.

Many authority's recommend a small pause (1 or 2 minutes) per hour of computer work. Reflexion is a tinny application that prompts you kindly when it is time for a pause.

Reflexion will run in the windows notification area. You can set the start and stop time and the number of pauses you like. A list is dynamically updated and showing all the pause occurences. Optionaly one can play a sound (wav), mp3 or wma file to prelude the pause.

Here are some key features of "Reflexion":

  • Start-End Time
  • Number of Reflexions
  • Reflexion Times
  • Increment selectable
  • Users can choose what sound to play when it's time for a break. · Has the feature to run in background.

Reflexion is freeware.

My Rest Break is a software that reminds you to take regular breaks while using the computer. Taking regular breaks can reduce the risk of unhealthy side effects due to prolonged computer use. In fact, according to health experts one should take short breaks after 20 to 30 minutes while working on computer. Prolonged computer use can lead to several ill effects.

alt text

One can develop deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) from working too long at a computer without taking rest breaks. DVT can be a serious, life threatening medical emergency. Other potential adverse health conditions could include repetitive strain injury (RSI) and computer vision syndrome (CVS).

My Rest Break is freeware.


I use Outlook while at work for this very thing. I just setup recurring appointments every hour to remind me to stand up and drink some water.

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