This article is from the Ergonomics and Typing Injury FAQ, by Dan Wallach firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Office Automation Systems
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This product is specifically aimed at helping employers meet the
requirements of EC directive 90/270, so it is of most interest to European
users. It does not provide animations of exercises, instead providing them
in the manual - the rationale for this is that the EC directive requires
breaks to be taken away from the computer, so sitting at your keyboard
doing exercises is not allowed. In any case, it is better for you to
stretch your legs as well as arms, and rest your eyes by leaving the
computer, so this seems sensible. The program feels less intrusive than
some others as a result, it simply pops up a small window asking you to
take a break.
Unlike most other programs, you can set a hierarchy of some work then
micropause, longer work then short pause, and still longer work then a
long pause. This hierarchy is closer to medical recommendations than just
taking a break every N minutes.
Also, this program is only activated by keyboard or mouse activity, unlike
some other programs that pop up at a given time even if you are not at
The program does not let you exit it or change the settings without a
password (though this protection is configurable) - ideal for companies
that want to discourage people from bypassing the program.
The latest version has some improvements: a TSR is supplied so that typing
in a DOS window will not affect the accuracy of the break times; the
program beeps three times before a break to let you stop typing before it
grabs control from the current window; and the minimised icon shows you
when the next break is due, changing periodically to cycle through all the