You need to give your eyes a break. For 20 seconds, every 20 minutes, to be exact. It’s called the 20-20-20 rule, and our break reminder is here to make it easier to follow.

Computer screens and phones are putting serious strain on our eyes. Cutting down on screen time is a great idea, but for most of us, it’s not a realistic option.

Give your eyes a rest with our break reminder

It’s also hard and distracting to watch the clock (unless you’re almost done for the day), and alarms just aren’t practical in offices.

So, we’ve developed a free break reminder desktop app. Simply follow the link:, and select ‘20-20-20.’ There’s no need to download anything, nor do you have to sign up, register, or provide any information.

Twenty minutes later, you’ll get a notification telling you it’s time to give your eyes a rest. To do this, look away from the screen and focus on an object that’s 20 feet away (that’s the third 20, in case you were wondering) for 20 seconds.

Your eyes need a break every 20 minutes

If every 20 minutes seems too often, consider how many daydreams you might have had during that time. A Harvard study found people spend almost half of the day in la la land, not thinking about what they are actually doing.

Furthermore, this still only amounts to giving the eyes a one minute break every hour – it’s not too much to ask.

Why 20 seconds? This is roughly the amount of time it takes your eyes to fully relax. And don’t worry about getting your tape measure out. As long as the object is roughly 20 feet away, it will do.

If there’s any reason the 20-20-20 rule is incompatible with your work schedule – maybe you feel like 20 minutes is too frequent or 20 seconds isn’t enough – don’t worry, you can set a custom break reminder with whatever timings work for you.

You’ll also notice an option for 45/2. This preset is geared more toward movement, reminding people to get up and move around, breaking up the sedentary nature of office work.

Rest your eyes and stay hydrated

It’s also a great time to run to the bathroom or grab a glass of water.

We only blink about half as often when staring at computer screens, making the eyes dry much faster. Regular breaks and regular drinks are essential to keeping your eyes healthy.

What’s going to happen if you don’t take breaks? Well, that depends on you and your environment. Everyone will be affected differently, but you will be at higher risk for Computer Vision Syndrome if you keep your eyes glued to the screen.

When people have a lot of work to do, they tend to skip or shorten their breaks. But if you stick to your break schedule, letting your body and eyes rest periodically, you will be more productive.

Break reminder and office stretches all in one

Your work will also come easier if your workstation is set up properly and your monitor is the right distance from your eyes. Use our Workstation Setup Checklist to ensure your desk is working for you and not the other way around!

We understand that many office spaces aren’t conducive to exercising or moving around. That’s why we’ve developed a series of office stretches. When it’s time for your break, you’ll notice a link to our stretches in the top corner.

Select whichever part of the body you’d like to stretch out, and give it a go! It only takes a minute and you don’t even have to leave your workstation.

Good luck and enjoy your break!

EWI Works offers many services that can improve your health and quality of life at work. Find out more about our Online Training, Services, and Resources.

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