Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Product Spotlight: Time Out Free for Mac & Take a Break for PC

Time Out Free for Mac is a freeware program that helps computer users break up time spent working at the computer.  It is very easy to develop bad habits when using the computer for hours at a time.  These bad habits can be bad for your body.   Time Out helps remind computer users to take a break.
Time Out promotes "normal" and "micro" breaks.  The normal breaks typically occur after 50 minutes of work.  When it is time to take a break the computer screen grays out and a reminder pops up prompting you to take your break from the computer.  Micro breaks typically occur every 10 minutes and give you the opportunity to take a 10-15 second movement or stretching break before resuming your work.
While on your break a progress bar shows how long until the break is over.  Users have the ability to postpone or skip a break, change the frequency and duration of the breaks, play a sound and use automated workflows.  You can find more information about Time Out Free in the Mac Store or at their web site: www.dejal.com/timeout/.
A similar program for PC users is Take A Break 2.0 by Molecular Software.  This free program runs in the background and counts down how many minutes until it is time to take a break.  Users can set the time interval on the slider from 5 minutes to one hour.

NOTE:  I personally use Time Out to remind me to take movement breaks and to stretch.  Hours of sitting and a long commute have developed into back problems.  Time Out has been invaluable as a prompting tool.

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