July 16, 2017
WELLNESS APPS TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED
It’s 2017, and the average American adult spends roughly 10 hours, 40 minutes a day with digital media. If your job requires you to work on a computer, you’re probably averaging upwards of 12 hours of daily electronic use. Why not make the best of your use with a few helpful apps to better your health?
Staring at a brightly lit screen for several hours in one sitting can be tiresome and damaging to your eyes. Plus, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re facing work deadlines. The human body isn’t built to sit in one position for the entire duration of the day. It’s extremely important to take breaks and to get yourself moving! Here are a few apps that will help:
Dejal Time Out / is a computer app designed as a break reminder tool. It provides two different kinds of breaks: a “Normal” break, usually for 10 minutes at the tail end of 50 minutes of work, and a “Micro” break: a brief pause of typically 15 seconds every 15 minutes to allow yourself time to quickly stretch and relax before getting back to work. A progress bar will show how long until the break is over, and buttons are available to postpone or skip the break if the break is unwanted. There are also options for customizing breaks, including longer breaks that would indicate if you’re at lunch or will be away from the computer for an extended period of time.
Another issue with being tied to a desk all day is not drinking enough water. About 60% of our body is made up of water. The human brain is made up of 90% water and when we become dehydrated, our performance starts to falter; oftentimes people experience short-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating.
WaterMinder / is a water hydration and tracker app that gives you a clean view of your daily and weekly water intake. This five-star rated app makes it simple and quick to set reminders to track water intake, see water intake history and set goals, and includes a detailed list of water drinking tips. You will no longer have a reason not to drink enough water, not to mention you can fill up your water while taking a break from your screen!
Your eyes will probably be begging you for a break after just an hour or two of dedicated work at the computer. Let them know you care about them by checking out one of these two apps!
F.lux / is an app that runs on several servers (Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone) which changes the brightness of your screen depending on the time of day. What makes this app awesome is that it also changes the tint of the screen depending on the time of day. This is extremely important, because your body begins to produce melatonin as it should, instead of being constantly stimulated by the glow and tint of the computer, which makes falling asleep/sleeping well next to impossible.
ProtectYourVision / is an app that runs on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. What’s cool about this app is that it allows you to schedule breaks, though there are recommended breaks programmed into the system already. However, when it’s time for your break, the app blacks out your computer screen until it’s time for it to end. This might seem a bit jarring, but you have the ability to postpone breaks if you’re in the middle of something important. Plus, if you decide you want to end a break early, you can always override the black screen through a certain command.
If you actively consider your daily physical activity, calorie intake, or sleep patterns all while holding down a full-time job and extra curricular activities, you’re probably pretty busy. It’s important to stay on track and with today’s technology, there’s someone (or something) here to help.
FitBit / is a tracking device that can be worn as a bracelet or as a necklace. It tracks every part of your day – including activity, exercise, food, weight, and sleep – to help you find your optimal fitness and to stay motivated. Fitbit syncs wirelessly and automatically with your phone and computer to show your progress using charts and graphs in an easy-to-understand dashboard. Share your charts with friends and family, or even engage in fun competition with one another to see who is the most active. It’s simple and effortless with a wide range of benefits for both mind and body.
StretchClock / is an app for computer users that reminds you to stretch throughout the day. These desk exercises are designed to provide pain relief while also reducing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injury (RSI), back pain, and shoulder pain that can be caused by typing too much or sitting in one position for too long. Anyone who uses the computer for more than an hour at a time should consider using a break reminder app. Simple video exercises provide easy-to-remember stretches designed for you to stay limber even on the busiest days.
Buddhify / is an app that is available to both Apple and Android owners, and has been recommended by many therapists to clients for stress reduction. The beautiful thing about Buddhify is that it has guided meditations, usually 5 minutes or less, that are tailored specifically to certain situations you might be facing. For example, if you’re anxious because a friend is late for your appointment, you can listen to the “Waiting Around” option that’s offered, which leads you through deep breathing and several visualization exercises. Visualization and mindfulness exercises efficiently reduce cortisol levels, which is known to cause hypertension and other serious health problems for chronic worriers.
It’s important to remember to take care of yourself. With these apps, there should be no reason not to!
Maddie is an undergraduate student that loves the outdoors, all animals, and making music. She intends to start her own non-profit someday to raise awareness about mental illness.
Edited from original November 2015 article