Are keyboards all the same? Does it matter that I get an “ergonomic keyboard”?
What is an ergonomic keyboard? In short, it helps you prevent computer injuries like carpal tunnel (which is, once you develop that condition, it is irreversible, not to mention the painful operations you must go through.)
You might think of getting the most generic, economical, cheapest keyboard out there, because they are all the same. Before jumping to that conclusion, why don’t you spend the next five minutes of your life reading what exactly is an ergonomic keyboard. Read about all its additional bells and whistles before deciding to go for the generic keyboard.
I’ve also highlighted the different types of keyboards below. All in all, this will help you choose the right keyboard for you.
Why the Ergonomic Keyboard is recommended
It is very much recommended to use an ergonomic keyboard when doing work in front of a computer. Ergonomic keyboards assist a person so that he or she would be able to adapt to the correct posture when typing. This in effect lessens the chances of the body from being exposed to uncomfortable positions and strain.
The primary issues that must be addressed here are the bending of a person’s wrists vertically and horizontally when using the keyboard. This is known particularly as Ulnar Pronation and Deviation respectively. These are matters that should not be taken for granted as they could result to too much pressure on the wrist which can cause ailments.
With the help of an ergonomic keyboard, the body can adapt to the ideal ergonomic postures and keep the body comfortable and healthy even while working. This type of keyboard has a design that is shaped in such a way that it can give assistance to the various movements of typing that may result to strain and stress to all the body parts such as the hands, elbows, wrists, shoulders and arms which are used in the activity.
Every key on the ergonomic keyboard is designed so that it is in close proximity to all the fingers of the user. This minimizes the need for the fingers, hands and the arms to move so that these can keep the ergonomic position while typing.
Ergonomic keyboards give a person comfort and reduce fatigue during typing. They also decrease pain in the arms, neck, hand and shoulders. It is therefore very important to look for a keyboard which has a design that relieves the body of stress. This is better than just shifting a position and transferring the stress to another part of the body.
What We Need To Look Out For in An Ergonomic Keyboard
divided sections for organizational ergonomics
programmable for your most used functions
enable natural and neutral hand posture
an additional alternative to the mouse – the touch pad.
So what are the features that we need to look for in an ergonomic keyboard? Well, it has to have divided sections. It needs to have springy keys. It also should be programmable. One must also know the terms of the warranty and make sure to buy one that provides support for a longer period. A good ergonomic keyboard must be adjustable with either a USB or a PS2 connection. Touch pads are not completely necessary but they help replace the mouse and further permits the finger to do pointing and clicking operations without lifting the hands from the keyboard.
Types Of Ergonomic Keyboards
The Split Keyboard
There are several types of alternative ergonomic keyboards. One is the Split Keyboard. This type of keyboard is the best alternative if one wants to reduce the risk of Ulnar Deviation which we mentioned earlier. Ulnar Deviation is one position of the wrist wherein the wrists are being bent to the side, towards the “pinky” or little finger. This is not a neutral position thus contributes to the strain and stress of some muscles. It also increases friction experienced by the tendons, mostly at the area of the thumb. This in turn adds pressure to the nerves that run to the wrists. Split keyboards have a different key orientation that guides the wrists so that they are straightened out instead of bent sideways.
The Tented Keyboard
Another alternative type of ergonomic keyboard is the Tented Keyboard. This is a bit more sophisticated that the Split Keyboard. Apart from addressing Ulnar Deviation, it also is made to correct one other issue which is Pronation. This type of posture rotates the hands inwards to the thumbs which twist the forearms in the process. The Tented Keyboard attempts to amend this kind of posture by letting the arms of the user work at certain angles aimed towards each other.