don't forget to *blink*

The Google Doc has some helpful hints for the code monkeys, RSS addicts, and hackivistas out there: Stop, *Blink*, Stand. Paraphrased from Lifehacker (aptly), some highlights:

  • Break every 30-45 minutes, for at least 5 minutes. And if you can't remember, there are free downloadable timers to remind you.
  • Stretch your arms, hands, neck, and back during breaks.
  • Maintain posture alignment. Don’t slouch on the couch with the laptop.
  • Adjust your chair, monitor, keyboard, mouse, laptop. Alternate keyboards and mice periodically.
  • Shift your gaze from the screen to the distance. And don’t forget to blink!
The picture of the prototypical user, contorted with zombie-like focus, that the Doc paints here is unnervingly accurate. But no one is going to sit up straight--it feels uncomfortable, restricts workflow, and, to speak plainly, looks dorky (see Mr. Posture, right).

There has to be a better solution than asking humans to correct away from the natural tendency created by the environment. In other words, yes, a timer to remind me to blink is a step. Perhaps an office chair that adjusts around the user's movments to keep their spine straight is next (...maybe with a little theraputic message motion thrown in?). I slouch and the back is triggered to move forward, bringing me upright again; I unconsiously hunch my shoulders, leaning precariously into the screen, and the seat tilts back until I correct myself.

The Doc's full wisdom--if you think you can take it-- is here. Good advice, though the doctor insists, for legal reasons undoubedly, that it is not in fact advice and you should ask your doctor. Doc--do you really imagine people who lack the initiative to blink to seekout a medical help in this realm?

A Cautionary Case Study: Inside CubeBreak (what happens if you don't sit up straight and forget to blink), via Samizdata.