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May 16 2007   5:43PM GMT

Workrave: The (micro)pause that refreshes

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

The other day I had one of those lightbulb moments. I’d been working for several hours and had just come across an exciting idea. The kind of idea that makes me leap from my office chair and run downstairs to tell my husband… Except that, well, although my brain sent the leap instruction, my body interpreted “leap” as “slowly and creakily transfer weight to feet and gradually straighten knees, hips, etc. until relatively vertical position is reached. Clutch lower back. Groan.”

The inescapable conclusion? As an editor “of a certain age,” I can no longer expect to be able to hunker down at the computer in one position for hours and also expect to be able to change that position quickly. And if I don’t want to be RSI poster girl, I’d better do something.

Workrave to the rescue! It might just save me from myself. It’s a nifty little program that pops up alerts at user-defined intervals, reminding you to stretch, take a break or *gasp* step away from the computer. There’s a handy illustrated exercise demo for eyes, hands, shoulders and all those other bodily features that tend to suffer at the computer. In between significant breaks, Workrave mandates micropauses, during which you’re ordered to stare into space. Ahhhh! Seconds of pure zen bliss…

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  • Ivy Wigmore
    I've been trying to find a frickin' tutorial for Workrave. Any suggestions? I'm a little bit of a noob at this, and it's not completely obvious how the thing works.
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