Take a break…. You deserve it.
Our bodies were not made to sit for hours on end, 5 days a week. If you have a desk based job you might be spending more time in the chair, not moving, than you should be.
Getting up to take a walk, grab a drink or do some stretches can reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) and cumulative low back loading and therefore back pain (1), eye strain (if you are using a computer) and is just plain and simply good for you! Some research (2) even shows that breaks can enhance your productivity by increasing focus.
A break from the desk is a win win situation!
The great news is you can and should move and there are plenty of free desk top apps that can help remind you to move during the day.
We have found our favourites and think you should take a look yourself.
Stretchy https://hovancik.net/stretchly - is great as it runs on every desktop platform. Every 10 minutes it encourages you to take a 20 second break. Every 30 minutes it tells you to step away from your desk for a 5 minute break. You can customise the intervals and the durations of breaks in the settings. We have found it super simple to use.
Big Stretch Reminder http://monkeymatt.com/bigstretch - very simple and easily customised. By default it offers you a clear notification every 20 minutes. It can even show RSI prevention tips in it’s notifications, or motivational quotes.
WorkRave http://www.workrave.org - an open source tool and a little more complicated. It offers 3 different kinds of breaks: mircro, rest and daily limit. You will see a pop-up window whenever one of the breaks is triggered, reminding or optionally forcing you to take a break.
Awareness http://iamfutureproof.com/tools/awareness - very different to the tools we have mentioned above. It forgoes notifications entirely. Instead, this app makes a sound at set time intervals. It is great if you are the sort of person who knows breaks are good for you but cannot stand interruptions.
It’s clever as it times how long you have been at your computer. If it sounds for a break and you get up, the time will reset. If you do not take your break, the timer keeps showing how long you have been working. The visual timer can encourage you to take a break without being intrusive.
There are lots more apps out there on the market, these just happen to be free which is always a positive! If you have an app that you find useful, please do comment and share it with us.