When you work long hours in front of a computer, you may have experienced some of the ill-effects that may come along with it. This ranges from an aching body because of how you sit or stand in front of the computer to headaches, dry or tired eyes that may be caused by looking at the computer monitor without taking a proper amount of short breaks.
The latter is called Computer Vision Syndrome, and while it is temporary in nature, it can be avoided altogether by taking short breaks while you are working on the computer.
You can try and take breaks on your own, and while that may work for some, others may forget to take breaks. That's when software like EyePro comes into play, as it notifies you when it is break time, so that you know when you should take a break.
EyePro is not the first program that we have reviewed for this purposes. In fact, I counted six programs that offer similar features: Break Taker, Time Clue, Eye Guardian, Eye Care, Eyes Relax, Eye Defender and Workrave.
Once you have installed EyePro on your Windows machine and started it - it seems to require elevated rights for that - you will notice that it minimize itself to the system tray automatically.
It is highly suggested to restore the program window to configure it before you start using it. The default break intervals, 7 seconds every 20 minutes and 1 minutes every 30 minutes may not be to your liking.
You can change the long break and short break interval and length in the settings. Here you can also disable short or long breaks in case you only want to work with one type of break throughout the day.
The program displays a notification 20 seconds before every long break, which you may want to turn off or change as well, as it too can be distracting.
EyePro takes over the complete screen during breaks. On long breaks, it displays work place exercises that you can follow, or jokes and quotes to keep you motivated. Those can be disabled if you want to run custom exercises or none at all and simply close the eyes for the break interval.
EyePro keeps track of usage statistics which you can open in the main program window. Here you check how many breaks you have taken, skipped or postponed, and get an overall status of your break habits.
The EyeCare Tips section offers interesting information about improving the work environment among other things. This includes proper chair, desk and monitor setup, proper posture while working on the computer, and about other influencing factors such as the lighting conditions.
The information the program ships with are a nice bonus that may help you improve your working conditions. While the break reminder does not bring anything to the table that other computer visionary syndrome applications don't offer as well, it is the complete package that may be interesting to some users.
I do not really like the exercises or quotes displayed on the screen during breaks, as they invite you to look at the screen, at least in the beginning. But those can be easily disabled in the program settings, and may provide some users with tips on what to do during breaks.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.