The computer is a vital tool for many of us. However, working for long periods in front of a computer can increase the chance of developing an injury. Muscle and joint pain, overuse injuries of the upper limbs and eyestrain are some of the injuries that can develop from prolonged computer  use.

Below are some tools which I use at work to help prevent me from developing computer related injuries.

Workrave

workrave logo

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.

The program has three kinds of breaks. Micro-breaks, rest breaks and daily limit.
All breaks are configurable to how long you like to work before taking a break, the duration of each break (except for daily limit which should mean that you stop using the computer for the day) and how long you can postpone the break for.

For rest breaks, it even shows you stretches you can do to relax those muscles which has tensed up from long period of working infront of a computer.

This is a great program. Although it can sometimes be annoying when you have a tight deadline to meet and it asks you to take breaks.
But it reminds you that you have spent quite a bit of time on the computer and helps prevents RSIs.

Below are some sample screen shots of rest breaks

workrave exercises

The program runs on GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows.

http://www.workrave.org/

F.lux

Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow?
Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen?
During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.

F.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It’s even possible that you’re staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.

f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.

Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. F.lux will do the rest, automatically.

Flux screenshot

This program runs on Microsoft Windows or Mac
http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/

Edwin Kwan is the founder and editor of Little Handy Tips and Wollongong Fitness. He is also the developer for the Google Custom Search WordPress plugin and Custom About Author WordPress plugin. He also has a keen interest in Photography . Find out more about him here.

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