Although Gnome Shell is a very relaxed desktop environment and you should never get tired working on it, some of you may do :(
It is true that having your hands on the mouse and keyboard all the time will certainly cause damage on the inner of your wrist tendons, while a bad posture may cause lower back pain and neck discomfort.
Workrave is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit. Although it can be proved vital for those who suffer from RSI, it will certainly be very helpful for everyone who spends a significant amount of daily time in front of his/her computer screen.
How does it work?
You simply launch Workrave and it opens in a small window that contains three counters. The first one is monitoring you and counts conversely when you move the mouse or type on the keyboard. If you don’t do anything it stop counting. The second meter counts down to your rest that includes some relaxing exercises and the third counts how long you have before you will have to stop all computer related activities for the day.
On the above screenshot you can see that I have one minute of working time left before I get the mini-break, 43 minutes before I will have to do some special exercises and almost 4 hours before I will have to stop everything and shut down my desktop.
What is very interesting about Workrave is that when the time comes for a break you can click nothing else besides buttons of the application itself. Take this micro-brake warning for example. You can do nothing about it but rest. When you hover your mouse over it, the warning goes on another place of the screen!
You can either wait for the exercises timer, or press it by yourself if you feel like doing some stretching. There are various exercises included with some useful illustrations and a timer.
You can of course set the timers to your preferences and also check some statistics like how much your mouse traveled today, or how many exercises you skipped.
I believe that Workrave can be useful to everyone and I suggest you all give it a try no matter if you’re having a problem or not. Regular breaks and stretching never did any harm to anyone :)