TL;DR

如果你和我一样每天长时间面对电脑,推荐一款app Stretchly,它会定时弹出全屏信息,强力提醒你休息。

I recommend Stretchly to anyone who couldn’t help but stare at the computer screen for too long.

What is Stretchly?

Stretchly is a take-a-break app that will show a full screen message to help you move away from the computer and take small and long breaks every set minutes (default is 19 seconds for each 10 minutes small break and 5 minutes for a 30 minutes long break).

Background

When I work on computers, I’m often too obsessed that I can’t force myself to take a break. I just want to work on something for several hours straight until it’s done.

This article says it well:

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 apps and screen time, and take care of your health.

Continuous screen usage can lead to severe eye strain, neck pain in the cause of phones, and sitting too long causes health issues too

So, to save myself from RSI and eye-strain, I went on a search for an app that can force me to take a break every 25 minutes.

My needs for a take-a-break app

After playing around with several apps in this category, I find myself having several needs for take-a-break app:

  1. the app needs to allow break for 5 minutes after every 25 minutes (at least configurable), so that I can utilize pomodoro techniques.
  2. the app needs to force me to take a break, otherwise I will just ignore the break and only feeling being annoyed.
  3. the app needs to allow me to exit a break in special situations, such as in a meeting or presentation, so that I don’t accidentally ruin the show.
  4. Ideally the app can be cross platform, so that I can use it on both my PC and Mac.
  5. Ideally the app is free

Comparision of take-a-break apps

  Can force break? Configurable? Cross platform? Price Other
Take a Break Yes, full screen break, can not exit No, not for free version. No, only Mac ¥12  
Time Out No, click to exit break screen No, not for free version. No, only Mac ¥18  
BreakTimer No, swipe to exit break screen Yes Yes, Chrome, Mac, Windows, Linux Free Open Source
Stretchly Yes, full screen break, can not exit Yes Yes, Mac, Windows, Linux Free Open Source

Personal Recommendation

Stretchly suits my needs the best, so I will recommend this app to anyone who has similar needs.

Reference