This article is from the Ergonomics and Typing Injury FAQ, by Dan Wallach firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Any calendar/reminder program that warns you of an upcoming appointment
can be turned into an ad hoc RSI management tool. Alternatively, use any
batch queue submission program that lets you submit a program to run at a
specific time to display a message to the screen.
Using Windows as an example: create a Calendar file, and include this
filename in your WIN.INI's 'load=' line so you get it on every startup of
Windows. Suppose you want to have breaks every 30 minutes, starting from 9
am. Press F7 (Special Time...) to enter an appointment, enter 9:30, hit
Enter, and type some text in saying what the break is for. Then press F5
to set an alarm on this entry, and repeat for the next appointment. By
using Windows Recorder, you can record the keystrokes that set up breaks
throughout a day in a .REC file. Put this file on your 'run=' line, as
above, and you will then, with a single keypress, be able to set up your
daily appointments with RSI exercises.
The above method should be adaptable to most calendar programs. An example
using batch jobs would be to submit a simple job that runs at 9:30 am and
warns you to take a break; this will depend a lot on your operating
On Windows 3.x, you can use Barclock 2.2 or above - this gives you a clock
in the current window title bar, and also lets you type in a message to be
popped up every hour (or even more frequently if you set multiple alarms).
Not intended for this purpose but simple and effective, Barclock is
available on many BBSs as BARCLK22.ZIP.
While these approaches are not ideal, they are a good way of forcing
yourself to take a break if you can't get hold of a suitable RSI
management tool. If you are into programming you might want to write a
version of Typewatch (see above) for your operating system, using batch
jobs or whatever fits best.