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Eye strain is common when your eyes are tired from heavy use, such as long-distance travel or prolonged screen time. Although it’s usually not dangerous and can be relieved by resting your eyes, persistent symptoms may indicate an underlying eye condition that requires treatment.
Unfortunately, computer-related eye strain is a standard part of modern life that can harm your vision in the long term and cause short-term eye inflammation and headaches. Recent studies have also shown that the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt sleep by reducing melatonin levels in the body.
You can also read: Improve Your Health At Work With These Free Tools For MAC
While doctors recommend regular breaks to avoid eye strain, not everyone can remember to do so independently. Prolonged screen time can also negatively impact physical and mental health, as sitting in one position for too long can cause pain, tension, and exhaustion.
To combat these issues, it’s important to use apps that remind you to take breaks and care for your health. Regular breaks from screen time can reduce the risk of eye strain and other health issues while increasing your overall productivity and focus.
Regularly using screens, especially phones, and sitting for prolonged periods can cause significant eye strain, neck pain, and other health issues. However, it is surprisingly simple to avoid these problems by taking breaks from screen time. Installing an app with reminders to take breaks can be all you need to prevent these issues.
1. Stretchly (Windows, macOS, Linux): A simple reminder of short and long breaks.
Stretchly is an app that can revolutionize how you use your computer by reminding you to take breaks and stretch your body. With short and long scheduled breaks, you can focus on your tasks while caring for your health.
A notification pop-up will remind you when it’s time to take a break, and the best part is that you can always move to your next break whenever you feel like it. The app recommends a short break of 20 seconds every 10 minutes to stretch and keep you healthy and a longer 5-minute break every 30 minutes.
You can adjust the duration of the short and long breaks according to your preference. Additionally, Stretchly can be configured to function as a Pomodoro timer to help you be more productive.
While you can skip a break, you must prioritize your health by taking breaks regularly. If you struggle to follow the schedule, you can enable strict mode to ensure you adhere to the break schedule.
2. Stretch Reminder (Android, iOS): Reminders and GIFs to periodically stretch the body.
Although not available on smartphones, the Stretch Reminder app can be a great tool to remind you to take breaks and stretch. It sends unobtrusive notifications reminding you to look away from your phone screen and do some stretches.
The app is simple to use. First, set how often you want to receive notifications, choosing a time range between one to six hours and setting your workday’s start and end times. When you get a reminder, go to the app’s Stretch Marks screen.
With over 17 different stretching positions, the Stretch Reminder app offers exercises focusing on different body parts, making them perfect for office workers. These stretches can be done while sitting on a chair or standing, taking up little space and not looking too awkward.
I suggest starting with a break every hour and trying different exercises each time to relieve pain in different parts of your body. If you work long hours before a screen, using the Stretch Reminder app can help care for your shoulders and neck.
Download: Stretch Reminder for Android
3. Eye Care 20 20 20 (Android, iOS): Set your mobile phone aside.
The constant exposure to the backlight from computer and phone screens can take a toll on your eye health, leading to eye strain. If you experience any symptoms of eye strain, you may want to try Eye Care 20 20 20 app on your phone.
This app utilizes a simple yet effective method to relieve eye strain. After every 20 minutes of screen time, the app reminds you to take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet (6 meters) away. This allows your eyes to rest and prevents them from getting dry.
The Eye Care 20 20 20 app provides unobtrusive reminders that aren’t dependent on whether or not you are using your screen during the 20-minute interval. You can also customize the app’s settings to run manually or start automatically at a specific time each day. Give your eyes a break and try Eye Care 20 20 20 to maintain healthy vision.
4. Micro Breaks (Chrome): Customizable reminder for multiple periods.
Look no further than Micro Breaks if you’re a Google Chrome user seeking an easy-to-use add-on for all your break reminders.
This add-on comes with several pre-set reminders for healthy habits, such as taking 2-minute breathing breaks every 2 hours, following the 20/20/20 rule to prevent eye strain, taking a 6-minute break every 80 minutes, and stretching for 2 minutes every hour.
In addition to these pre-set reminders, Micro Breaks allows you to set up your custom reminders for free. It’s the easiest way to add a break reminder to your Chrome browser.
Download: Micro Breaks For Chrome (Free)