Main Help Page

Help on BreakTimer

Setting up the BreakTimer for use

Changing Break Settings Manually

Break Length and Frequency

Interruption Style

Additional Options


The Manually Adjust Break Schedule Settings window.

To access this settings screen, first click on the RSIGuard setup menu, then Settings.
Next click on the BreakTimer tab, and click on the "Manually" button to adjust BreakTimer settings manually.


Break Length and Frequency

  • Desired Average Break Length - Controls how RSIGuard's balances between break frequency and length. If you ask for shorter breaks, breaks will be suggested more often. Less frequent breaks occur if your set the breaks to be longer.
  • Length of time you can consistently type without discomfort - Specifies your sensitivity to typing. BreakTimer suggests breaks when you reach a threshold of exposure to typing-related strain, and this setting (along with your average typing work style) adjusts that threshold.
  • Length of time you can consistently use a mouse or other pointing device without discomfort - Specifies your sensitivity to mousing. BreakTimer suggests breaks when you reach a threshold of exposure to mouse-related strain, and this setting (along with your average mouse work style) adjusts that threshold.

Note: As you adjust these 3 sliders, "Average length of breaks" and "Average Time Between Breaks" will adjust accordingly. These values reflect your average break, but actual time between breaks and actual length of breaks will be based on the kind of work you have been doing. If you spend a lot of time off the computer on a particular day, breaks will occur less frequently or even not at all. If you work very intensively, they will occur more frequently than the average. Postponing breaks will generally lead to longer breaks.

In addition to the strain-based reminders to take breaks, RSIGuard can limit your exposure to the computer in other ways using the Work Restriction feature. Click on the 'Define a Work Restriction Now' button if you want to define a work restriction.


Break Interruption Style

The Break Interruption Style settings let you decide how RSIGuard starts breaks at break time. This very important setting can fundamentally change your experience with BreakTimer, so it is worth taking a moment to set it to match your personality and work needs.

There are 2 different general methods by which BreakTimer can interrupt you at break time:

  1. "Prompted Breaks" - When it's time for a break, BreakTimer waits to start the break until you have been inactive for several seconds. This method avoids interrupting you by looking for idle periods in your computer activity -- e.g. breaks are not suggested while you are in the middle of typing a sentence, or performing a mouse selection. However, the break window will pop up when you pause (for the specified number of seconds), and this can be a problem if your job does not allow you to be interrupted (e.g. call center work, customer-facing work).
  2. "Polite Mode" - When it's time for a break, BreakTimer waits to start the break until you click on the "Break Needed" button (). This method avoids interrupting you by placing a small button on the screen when it's time to take a break. When you are ready to take the break, you manually start it by clicking the button. This method poses the risk that you might not manually start the break (e.g. you forget to, or you avoid doing so). However, this method may be useful or necessary if your job tasks do not permit interruption.

After waiting, start the break anyway - If you check this setting, then if the break does not start within the specified number of seconds (either because you use method 1 and you never go idle, or because you use method 2 and you never click the button) then the break will start anyway.

This video shows how each of the 3 break interruption styles offered in the Setup Wizard work.
Press Ctrl+F5 to restart video

You can also adjust the Break Interruption settings
here in the Detailed Break Settings screen


Additional Options

These settings allow you to adjust additional, but less frequently used, BreakTimer options.

The Define Minimum Break Length setting allows you to specify the shortest break that BreakTimer will suggest. This can be useful for some doctor suggested break regimens. For example, if your doctor tells you to take a 15 minute break after every 30 minutes of work, you can set this setting to 15 minutes (and set the maximum time between breaks to 30 minutes).

The Enable the Skipped-Break Wizard is normally enabled.

If the BreakTimer notices that you are frequently skipping breaks, it will try to offer a quick solution that adjusts the way the BreakTimer works, so as to make taking breaks easier for you.

The wizard suggests four possible scenarios that may be causing you to skip breaks frequently, and then offers 2 or 3 solutions for that scenario.

The Define BreakTimer Blackout Times settings allows you to prevent breaks from occurring during a selected time range during the day. This setting should only be used if you have a regular period during the day when, for some reason, it is inappropriate for you to take breaks. During this time, BreakTimer will not suggest breaks, even if you really need one.