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Just Look Away: 20-20-20

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We all spend countless hours every day staring at our computer and smartphone screens.  This prolonged exposure however is causing digital eye strain, headaches, macular degeneration, and even blindness due to the blue light.

One of the easiest ways to help prevent this strain is to rest your eyes from time to time.  Unfortunately as we all know, we can lose track of time as we stare at our devices and looking away doesn't happen anywhere near as frequently as it should.

According to the American Academy of Ophthamology, we typically blink 15 times per minute unless we are looking at our digital devices and then we blink as little as 5 times per minute.  It is that reduction in blinking that is causing so much discomfort.  

So any ideas on how we can be sure we look away from time to time?  Breaktimer is a great free to use app that works on Windows, macOS and Linux systems.  This app allows you to set up customizable breaks and will remind you to take them as well.

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page to pick your operating system.  Once downloaded and installed you simply need to:

  1. Configure your schedule: configure how often and how long your breaks should be.
  2. Customize your experience: Personalize the app colors and messages shown during breaks.
  3. Set working hours: Ensure you are only interrupted when you actually want to be by configuring working hours.
  4. Notifications: Set when you want to be notified when breaks are about to start, allowing you to either skip or postpone if needed.
  5. Idle reset: Select if you want the app to restart your break countdown when it detects that you have not been at your computer.

Not sure which settings to select?  Doctors recommend looking away 20 feet for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

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