You know that staring at the screen for too long isn’t good for your health or your eyesight, but it’s easy to get sucked in. Use these apps to get a reminder to take a
You know that staring at the screen for too long isn’t good for your health or your eyesight, but it’s easy to get sucked in. Use these apps to get a reminder to take a break from screen time, and take care of your health.
Stretchly (Windows, macOS, Linux): Simple Reminder for Micro and Long Breaks
For most people, Stretchly is the break reminder that will change how you use the computer. The app enables both micro-breaks as well as scheduled long breaks that will keep you focussed.
A small popup will let you know before it’s time to take a break, and then remind you when it’s time. One of the nicer features of Stretchly is that you can skip to the next break or micro-break at any time, in case you feel like stopping right now and not later. The micro-break is every 10 minutes, for 20 seconds, where the app recommends a few stretches to keep your body healthy. Every 30 minutes, it suggests a longer 5-minute break.
In case you don’t want to take a break, you can skip the prompt and continue working. But if you do this too often, you’re putting your own health at risk. You might want to enable the “strict mode” to ensure you stick to the breaks.
Download: Stretchly for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)
Eye Care 20 20 20 (Android, iOS): Put Down Your Mobile
Eye Care 20 20 20 is a mobile app to relieve this eye strain using an age-old technique. The idea is that every 20 minutes of using a screen, look at something 20 feet away, for no less than 20 seconds. Apparently this is the relief your eyes need to stay healthy and not get dry.
The Eye Care 20 20 20 app will simply give you simple reminders when the time comes, and not mess around more than that. By that, we mean it isn’t reliant on whether the screen has been on for all of those 20 minutes or not, that reminder is coming.
You can dive into the app’s settings to customize it further, so that you can either manually start it or set it to start automatically at a certain time every day.
Download: Eye Care 20 20 20 for Android | iOS (Free)
Outstanding (Web): Web App for Reminders to Stand Up
If you don’t want to install Stretchtly (or can’t install it for whatever reason), then Outstanding is the simplest way to get those timely reminders. It’s a free web app that works with any modern browser with notifications.
Go to the website and you can choose how often you want to get a reminder (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or one hour). You can also set how long you should stand up (30 seconds to five minutes) before getting another reminder to get back to work. It’s a simple timer that will keep you on track with ensuring you don’t spend too much time in your office chair.
Unhook (Android): Set Screen Time Limits, And Walk to Get More Time
Unhook is the most different app in this list. It doesn’t have reminders to take breaks, but instead, it forces breaks upon you.
Don’t worry, it isn’t an intrusive and strict app. When you really need to browse your phone but can’t be bothered with those extra steps, you can switch off Unhook and continue using the phone as usual. But use this sparingly, it’s all about self-discipline.
Download: Unhook for Android (Free)
Micro Breaks (Chrome): Customizable Reminder for Multiple Breaks
If you use Google Chrome, don’t look further than this little extension for all your break reminders. Micro Breaks is the simplest and best tool for the job.
By default, there are a few reminders already set for healthy habits. This includes:
- Breathing: Breathe in and out to manage stress, for 2 minutes, every 2 hours.
- 20/20/20: Prevent digital eye strain by looking at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
- Break: A simple break, for 6 minutes, every 80 minutes.
- Exercise: Stand up and stretch to relieve muscles, for 2 minutes, every hour.
Download: Micro Breaks for Chrome (Free)
Fix Your Posture Quickly
These apps solve that important problem of getting a reminder to regularly take a break from your computer or phone screen. But they don’t always tell you what to do when you take those breaks.
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