20 twenty 20 is an Android utility for combating eye strain and couch potato syndrome with the 20-20-20 Rule.

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20 twenty 20 is available on the Google Play store. If you'd like to build the latest version yourself, from source, you can check out the develop branch on GitHub.

The 20-20-20 Rule

20-20-20 Infographic

As seen on LifeHacker and various other sources, the 20-20-20 Rule is a simple guideline to mitigate eye strain for computer users:

Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

The New York Times later published an updated rule to keep office workers from being desk-bound all day:

Every 20 minutes, walk 20 feet away for 20 seconds or more.

Why bother?

The short answer

According to the American Optometric Association, Computer Vision Syndrome/Digital Eye Strain (CVS) is a diagnosable medical condition with symptoms such as headaches, dry eyes, and blurred vision. It can be treated by simple adjustments to your computer usage patterns, like following the 20-20-20 Rule.

If you're reading this, you're at risk for CVS, but it's well within your power to do something about it!

The Slightly-Longer Answer

In 2014, internet trends showed people across the world spend hours a day looking at computer screens (source: Gizmodo).

Infographic: Americans Use Electronic Media 11+ Hours A Day | Statista

Most people look at a computer screen today- it's just a part of modern life. Computer Vision Syndrome is one of many health problems that sitting in front of a screen for an extended period of time can cause. Higher digital engagement may stimulate our minds, but it can also make our eyes tired and our bodies mushy. Science has demonstrated for some time that physical inactivity has negative effects on the body, such as an increased risk for some cardiovascular diseases, anxiety and depression, and obesity.

Whether you're working at a computer, playing on your phone, or watching TV, taking short breaks for physical activity can have profound effects on your long-term health. Even adding as little as two minutes of light-intensity exercise (e.g. walking around) every hour can lower risk of mortality by 33%! The 20-20-20 Rule is an excellent tool to keep you in control of your computer usage rather than the other way around.

For more on these topics, see Further Reading below.

Enter 20 twenty 20

While the 20-20-20 Rule is a simple and powerful guideline, remembering to follow it is easier said than done. For months, I set a manual 20 minute timer, counted 20 seconds while staring morosely at a far wall, and then restarted my timer before realizing I could do better. If I ever missed setting a new timer, I'd sometimes forget to do so for the rest of the day! While there are some programs that manage this through a computer, I couldn't take advantage of them if I was offline watching TV or reading on my tablet.

20 twenty 20 is an Android app that takes care of all of this for you. Since most people have their phones nearby at all times, it avoids the problem of being bound to a desk. Press Play in the app, and it will remind you every 20 minutes to take a break by recommending a light-to-medium intensity exercise. The app will also notify you when your break is done and you can get back to enjoying your computer media a bit more refreshed without having to monitor your break time yourself.

20 twenty 20 is also very flexible; if you only want to be reminded to take a break once every hour, but for ten minutes, that's fine! Or if you want to use a certain special ringtone for your reminders, that works too. You can suspend and resume the 20-20-20 cycle as often as you like, and easily schedule your break and work/play phases.

I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me. Be healthy and happy, and live well!


Feel free to shoot me a message with any questions.

Further Reading

For more rigorous academic treatments on computer eyestrain and the detrimental effects of sitting too long (sedentary lifestyles), the following resources may be helpful:

Computer Vision Syndrome / Digital Eye Strain

Physical Inactivity / Sedentary Lifestyles


This privacy policy governs your use of this website the software application 20 twenty 20 (“Application”) for mobile devices that was created by Ronald Martin. The Application is a customizable timer to help you schedule breaks. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Automatically Collected Information

In addition, the Application may collect certain information automatically, including, but not limited to, the type of mobile device you use, your mobile operating system, and information about the way you use the Application.

Only aggregated, anonymized data is periodically transmitted to external services to help us improve the Application and our service. We will share your information with third parties only in the ways that are described in this privacy statement.

Does the Application collect precise real time location information of the device?

When you use the mobile application, we may use GPS technology (or other similar technology) to determine your current location in order to calculate your local sunrise/sunset time for the night mode theme. This calculation is done on your device by the Android operating system, and your location is not sent to any external system. We will not share your current location with other users or partners.

If you do not want us to use your location for the purposes set forth above, you should turn off the location services for the mobile application located in your mobile phone settings and/or within the mobile application.

We may disclose User Provided and Automatically Collected Information:

What are my opt-out rights?

You can stop all collection of information by the Application easily by uninstalling the Application. You may use the standard uninstall processes as may be available as part of your mobile device or via the mobile application marketplace or network.

If your Android 6.0+ device has provided the app access to your location, you may turn off this access via either the application's Settings menu or your device's Settings menu.


This Privacy Policy may be updated from time to time for any reason. We will notify you of any changes to our Privacy Policy by posting the new Privacy Policy here. You are advised to consult this Privacy Policy regularly for any changes, as continued use is deemed approval of all changes. You can check the history of this policy by viewing the history of this webpage.

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By using the Application, you are consenting to our processing of your information as set forth in this Privacy Policy now and as amended by us. "Processing,” means using cookies on a computer/hand held device or using or touching information in any way, including, but not limited to, collecting, storing, deleting, using, combining and disclosing information, all of which activities will take place in the United States. If you reside outside the United States your information will be transferred, processed and stored there under United States privacy standards.