Jun 8, 2008

Health care software for programmers

Some time ago I come across two programs and I would like to share my experience with the TYPO3 community. These programs help computer specialists to keep better health and improve life quality.

MacBreakz

The first program helps to prevent RSI (repetitive stress injury). RSI is a typical professional illness for people who work with computers. It happens due to the very limited numbers of repeating movements while working with computers.

MacBreakZ (Mac-only) is a program that analyzes how people type on the keyboard and move the mouse. At regular periods of times it suggests three exercises according to analyzed data for the last work period. After exercises user is given an advice about proper work or organizing working space.

Program is not only does breaks but it also can work in different modes. It can work in RSI prevention mode or recovery mode if you already feel pain in hands, back or any other body part.

The program also warns when you type to fast (or move mouse too actively). It shows indicator on the screen and may warn you (configurable!) if you reach "red" zone in your work. It makes a quacking sound and if you ignore it, it places semi-transparent window on the screen (can be dismissed) to warn you about potential injury.

The program is very customizable. You can select all sounds, periods, warnings, window transparency, indicator position and size.

I use this program for four days. But it already made incredible change. I do not like interruptions in work but already on the first day I felt much less stressed. From time to time I had pain in back or hands but exercises made me feel much better. I feel very much refreshed, I stretch much more during the day and in general I feel like a new man. I even slept better for past several nights!

I never expected that the program can make such a difference for $19.95.

Optimism

Optimism does not force you to use exercises. However it lets you to record your mood, health status and many other factors that generally define your mental and physical health.

There are lots of factors that affect your health: sleep, food, exercising, mood, etc. Optimism allows to record it for future analysis. It has huge amount of factors but they are very logical and arranged in group, so very easy to select or deselect.

The program builds graphs and summary reports where you can trace how your feeling correspond to your diet, sport, sleep, socializing, etc. Next you can decided what you should do and what you should not do to feel better.

Optimism costs $19.95 and has both Mac and Windows version.

Conclusion

While we are young and healthy, we do not think much about our future. Only when we become old and unhealthy, we think with great sadness that we did not pay enough attention to prevent problems with health. Even if we do not to, there is a software that helps us doing it. I would say, $40 for your health is not much. It is less than medical treatment of your back, less than yearly health insurance and may be even less than you spend with your mate in the restaurant. So, care for your health. Get these programs and give them a try. I am not paid for advertising this software. You can be sure I recommend it only because I used it myself and found very helpful.

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