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Use Chrome Extensions to Take Brain Breaks

by Diana Benner

Brain breaks are an important part of learning, and the Chrome browser can help with that. Brain breaks are small mental breaks designed to help us focus. They typically get us moving and allow blood and oxygen to flow to the brain. These breaks allow for a small reset in the day to energize us and increase our productivity. Research conducted over the past 25 years has clearly revealed the value that short, frequent “movement breaks” can have on learning and health.

An invaluable component of the Chrome browser is the Chrome Web Store. The store allows you to search for extensions and apps that can support many areas of learning. There are several extensions that can be added to your Chrome browser that provide easy access to effective brain breaks and other tools that assist with focus. Below are a few extensions to try.

Break Timer

Break Timer allows you to set up customizable breaks and will remind you to take them. With Break Timer, you can customize how long your breaks are and how often you wish to have them. You can choose to be notified with a simple pop-up notification or a full screen window reminder. In addition, a gong sound will play when it’s time to take a break.

Eye Rest

Prevent digital eye strain with a simple reminder to look away from the screen. Eye strain is an unfortunate side-effect of staring at a computer screen for an extended period of time. Simply giving your eyes a brief rest every 20 minutes goes a long way towards preventing eye strain. The Eye Rest extension will remind you to rest your eyes every 20 minutes or you can adjust the time period.

Micro Breaks

Micro Breaks is for you if you spend long hours looking at the Chrome browser. You can set reminders for breathing exercises, brain breaks, stretching exercises, and other activities to prevent digital eye strain. Micro Breaks will gently remind you about the break with an active green icon or desktop notification that can be easily turned on and off with the click of a button.

Mindful Break

This Chrome extension gives you a mindfulness tip and guides you through a short breathing exercise. Under the settings, you can set up how often you would like a mindful break and can be notified with a badge icon or bell sound.

Move It

The Move It extension will keep you active. Simply add the extension to your browser, set the notification interval, and your screen will present you with a random exercise to complete. Once you complete it, hit done and the next exercise will arrive after the designated interval elapses again.

Posture Minder

Posture Minder reminds you to sit up straight with pop-up notifications at specified time intervals. Sitting up straight while at your desk can make a big difference to your posture and overall health. In addition, you can set up a Walk Reminder so you can step away from your device every once in a while.

Take a Break

This extension will provide you with reminders to take a break from your computer. In the settings, make note of your work hours as well as the frequency and duration of the breaks you want to take. You can get notifications in a new tab or on your desktop.

Tiny Break

Tiny Break uses those short moments when you open a new tab in the browser to remind you to take care of your mind, body, and spirit. It will prompt you to do breathing exercises, look away from the screen, and more.

Brain breaks should be considered an investment in your day. We are all spending increasing amounts of time working on our devices, and it’s so easy to lose track of time. Therefore, try one of these extensions and take a break.

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Mary Pena August 10, 2022 - 9:12 am

The video has information that can help whenever you feel tired behind a computer.

Holly Jefferson August 10, 2022 - 9:45 am

I never realized how important it was for brain breaks.

Elizabeth Salvador August 10, 2022 - 10:15 am

very helpful information to have brain breaks , we really need thanks.

Karla P Olivo August 10, 2022 - 11:26 am

Excellent Course.

DOMINGA HERNANDEZ November 8, 2022 - 9:12 am

very helpful information

Howard Fadner November 8, 2022 - 9:12 am

new helpful information

Elaine Favre February 20, 2023 - 8:38 am

Thank you for the encouragement to let me know that it is alright to take breaks, to move and not feel guilty about doing it.

Karen A DeLavan February 20, 2023 - 9:26 am

I need reminders to sit up straight and to do breathing exercises. great tools

Alexandra Cruz February 20, 2023 - 10:11 am

Small brain breaks are helpful

Lisa Hawkins October 24, 2023 - 12:02 pm

Useful article.

Glad to know Google has extensions in place to remind us to “take a break” every now and then. I will definitely begin incorporating these into my workday.


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