Velcro wrist braces. Padded keyboard rests. Office chairs like beach balls on steroids. All ergonomically designed to prevent and treat workplace repetitive strain injuries (RSI) like carpal tunnel syndrome caused by sitting and typing all day, every day. One of the best things you can do about RSI is to make the problem part of the solution. RSIGuard Stretch Edition collects a variety of ergonomic tools in one easy-to-use package. Its Break Timer uses realistic models to suggest stretch breaks when you need them and leave you alone when you don't. The AutoClick tool cuts down on mouse clicks, and the KeyControl's macros help reduce keystroke. The DataLogger's statistics can help you understand how and when you use your PC, and handy ForgetMeNots issue regular reminders about posture, stretching, and other ergonomic aids. RSIGuard is free to try for 45 days.
Setting up RSIGuard starts with creating a Personal Profile by checking off answers to a series of questions about your work habits, computer use, break time preferences, and so on. We could enable Microbreaks, define Work Restrictions, run a Device Survey, and change our settings at any time via the Setup menu. A small interface and system tray icon handle control duties. The Break Timer appeared on schedule and displayed optional stretch exercise videos. RSIGuard gave us lots of options for responding to its Break Needed messages, including starting our break time anyway even when we didn't respond, which is sort of like showing yourself who's boss, and exactly what entirely too many people need. We could also enable stretch reminders, something else most people need. Pressing Skip Break ends your break early, but a motherly nag asks if work is more important than your health. Well, is it?
RSIGuard's stated mission is to help you develop healthy work habits. Prevention is always better than treatment and has a better outcome, too. You probably spend way more time in front of your computer than you realize. And, as your mother would say, you're slouching. Do the math, then break bad habits and make better ones with help from RISGuard.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of RSIGuard Stretch Edition 4.0.38a.