Trying something new is usually an exciting process but it is also sometimes scary. It will take some time before our mindset and our own bodies can adapt to new practices. Changing into ergonomic keyboards is no different. In this post, we shall discuss how to use ergonomic keyboard.
There is a learning curve that may be steep to some but could be easy for others. In this article, we will learn how to incorporate ergonomic keyboards in our work or gaming desk setups, the pros and cons of ergonomic keyboards, and why upgrading to an ergonomic keyboard is worthy of consideration.
An ergonomically designed work or play setup is recommended by most experts. It eliminates the risks that prolonged sedentary activities could cause to the human body while also increasing productivity and comfort. Humans were not intended to be spending most of their lives sitting and glued to computers thus without physical exertion, the body can tire easily and make itself prone to injuries or illnesses.
Back discomfort is one of the most prevalent issues that people face. Many occupations need you to sit for lengthy periods of time in front of a computer, which may put a lot of strain on your back. Lower back discomfort, neck pain, and shoulder pain are common complaints among office employees. This is due to their poor posture when working or typing for lengthy periods of time.
What is the best way to utilize an ergonomic keyboard? One thing that might assist in resolving this issue is the ergonomic keyboard. Most people, especially those who write and encode data, can benefit from an ergonomic keyboard. The following aspects of a good ergonomic arrangement should be taken into account.
How to use ergonomic keyboard?
The ergonomic keyboard is one tool that can help solve this problem. Most people can take advantage of an ergonomic keyboard especially those who type and encode data. A good ergonomic setup should have the following considerations.
First, the keyboard should be in front of the user. Second, the shoulders must be in a relaxed position while the elbows are close to the body. Lastly, the wrists should be in line and straight with the forearms. The goal is to have achieve optimal posture.
Using an ergonomic keyboard is not as hard as it looks and it requires very little adjustments on your part. You only need to set it up properly and set yourself up properly too so you won’t end up with cramps or muscle pains after a few hours at work.-Techniquehome
An ergonomic keyboard should have the right height. It should not be too low to burden the wrists from bending upward or too high to strain the shoulders by elevating them above the arms. The wrists must always be in a neutral position.
The keyboard should also be at the right distance. A keyboard too far or to close to the hands will push the user to move in awkward postures. In just the right distance, the wrists are parallel to the ground while the elbows stay close to the body.
The thumbs are the strongest fingers in the hand and is used to push hard objects. Ergonomic keyboards take advantage of the thumbs in many functions. Several keys could be pressed by the thumbs instead of the other fingers especially in the corners.
Other ergonomic keyboards have a smaller layout which eliminates other keys like the number pads, the arrows, or the function keys. This is because most keys have different layers to them and can be used to perform the same input command. By achieving a smaller form fact0r, the ergonomic keyboard allows the fingers, the wrists, and the hand to reduce their movement without compromising functionality.
Ergonomic keyboards now come with programmable software that can tweak specific commands. Eliminated keys can be replaced by the most essential ones through layering and some commands can be assigned to another key enabling more adaptability that fits the individual taste.
Do ergonomic keyboards really help?
Ergonomic keyboards may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Some may find it weird and perplexing due to its design. Some ergonomic keyboards are made of two separate boards while others come in strange shapes and configurations. However, this uniqueness is intended to address issues like posture, wrist strain, elbow soreness, and the like.
Ergonomic keyboards have curved keys which are designed to match the triangle in the hands. This has a significant impact on posture, which will undoubtedly improve the same. They also come with wrist rests which support the wrists and increases comfort and optimizes ergonomic position.
Wrist bending is one common problem that traditional keyboards cause. Ergonomic keyboards prevent this by taking off the stress from the wrists. Muscle activity is also reduced especially in the upper trapezius muscle which is responsible for stability and neck and shoulder movement.
Traditional keyboards were made to make typewriters function without considering the impact of extended use. Ergonomic keyboards are now developed to make functionality work without compromising the health of its users.
Are ergonomic keyboards hard to use?
Ergonomic keyboards are not necessarily hard to use. While the initial adapting process may pose difficulties especially since most keyboards were made without regard to the human anatomy, one may find that ergonomic keyboards are much easier to use and responsive to the needs of the user.
The benefits of the ergonomic keyboard can be best taken advantage of by people who type as a job like programmers and data encoders. On the other hand, experienced typists who have been reliant on traditional keyboards may find a more difficult time to adapting to the change.
New ergonomic keyboard users may take longer time to type due to the different layout. This is more apparent in older typists who have been accustomed to the traditional keyboards.
The advantages of ergonomic keyboard
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to reduce muscle strain and discomfort by placing the keys in a more natural position that better suits the needs of your body. The advantages of ergonomic keyboard are many. Some of them are:
- Best for arm and wrist pain
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to keep arm, hand, and back posture optimally. Risks of getting carpal tunnel can be greatly reduced.
- Comfort level is a plus
Designed with comfort in mind, ergonomic keyboards put the typist first. Typing for longer periods can cause discomfort which the ergonomic keyboards is intended to solve.
- Very responsive
Ergonomic keyboards do away with the noise and slow input reaction of traditional keyboards. Ergonomic keyboards require only light touch for keys to respond which then improves efficiency.
The disadvantages of ergonomic keyboard
Ergonomic keyboards are not without cons. These are a few of them:
- Unreceptive for some users
For experienced typists, ergonomic keyboards may be hard to work with. The split design may prove challenging to some.
- Can reduce productivity
For most typists who are familiar with traditional keyboards, typing may take longer than what is necessary. For establishments with a large workforce reliant on typing, this could spell disaster.
- May be costly
Ergonomic keyboards are more costly than standard keyboards. Some folks may not find this to be cost-effective.
Get the muscles in your hands tension-free
The wrists are the most often ignored part of the body. It is sometimes deemed to provide no practical purpose. For typists, they are as important as the rest of the body. Hand and wrist pain are extremely inconvenient especially if your livelihood relies on efficient hand and wrist movements.
A painful hand may make doing daily activities be hard. An effective way of improving hand and wrist strength is due through simple exercises. Coupled with an effective ergonomic keyboard, this will dramatically improve posture and health.
- Hand stretches
Stretches can release tension in the hands and can be done in very easy steps. Extending the hands outward will expel the stress build-up from the body
- Wrist rotations
By gently rotating a stretched hand, the muscles can release strain and extend the flexibility of the hands
- Thumb exercises
As previously mentioned, the thumbs are very powerful and is used in many movements. It is important to give focus in relieving tension from them by simple push and pull motions.
Adjusting your typing position
An ergonomic keyboard should be coupled with better typing positions to maximize its benefits. The proper position is as much as important as the keyboard used. Here are the best typing positions to make typing a comfortable and safe experience:
- Planting feet flat on the floor
The feet should remain planted on the floor to provide support on the body and distribute the weight and tension to the ground.
- Elbows should be in the right angle
The right angle of the elbows should be from 90 to 110 degrees to provide the best relief from stress and muscle strain.
- Focused eyes and heads
The head should not be moving in different directions while typing because this can hurt the neck and back muscles. The typist should focus on the words he is typing while the monitor is leveled to the eyes.
Understanding Ergonomic Keyboards
Ergonomic keyboards are designed and made to tailor-fit the human anatomy. They come in different shapes and sizes to make them responsive to the needs of individual typists. Here are some of the types of ergonomic keyboards and how they help in preventing stress and injuries:
- Split keyboards
A split keyboard is literally one keyboard split in half. This creates angles opposing each other and helps in proper hand spacing, straightens the wrist, and eases in fluid typing.
- Tented keyboard
A tented keyboard is a variant of the split keyboard where the two halves are tilted up akin to a tent, hence the name. This type of keyboard reduced forearm rotation.
- Contoured keyboard
This type has distinct wave-like shape. This encourages the natural positioning of hands and forearm for extra comfort.
The ergonomic keyboard is an excellent innovation in design which changed the traditional mechanical tool into a human-friendly device. It has adopted our knowledge of how the human body works and implemented it in its technology. It opens the possibility of making more ordinary equipment responsive to issues of health and safety without jeopardizing productivity. While the ergonomic keyboard may not be to everybody’s liking, it still is a viable option to choose from amid the market of different technologies.
The keyboard has been around for a long time, and on the surface, it appears that no one will think of changing anything that they have had since time immemorial. Change, on the other hand, is unavoidable. Yet, when it comes to technology, we can only be thankful that it has increased our productivity levels. That is the positive impact with the advent of ergonomic keyboard; it has made us more productive with its use.
Therefore, to conclude, the use of ergonomic keyboard is advised by many experts because aside from its physical advantage i.e. reducing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, its design also contributes in lowering stress and pain especially when working for long hours on a laptop.
To summarize, many experts recommend using an ergonomic keyboard because, aside from the physical benefit of minimizing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, its design also helps to reduce tension and suffering, especially while working on a laptop for long periods of time.