Whether you’ve heard about ergonomics being a comfort zone or you want it to be easier for your wrist to sit in front of a screen to work all day long, an ergonomic keyboard is what you are looking for.
However, before you set foot in a shop and buy the first ergonomic keyboard you see, it’s essential to know the pros and cons of the features offered. Also, learning how to use an ergonomic keyboard is vital; otherwise, the keyboard will be useless.
How to Select an Ergonomic Keyboard
You first need to understand how an ergonomic keyboard is different from a standard keyboard. It might take a few days or a few weeks to get used to the difference in style, and that’s okay. Knowing which keyboard would suit your needs is crucial. Below are some things you should consider before purchasing an ergonomic keyboard.
Layout of Keys
There are multiple styles of layouts for keyboards. Some are split keyboards, wherein the keys are split into two halves, right and left. This can be divided into two separate keyboards, or the keys can be far from each other to form a more natural layout for your fingers. If you have broad shoulders or struggle to keep your arms together to type on a standard keyboard, invest in a split keyboard so that you can reach the keys easily.
Mac vs Windows
If your keyboards and mice aren’t compatible with the system you’re using, it won’t matter how impressive their specifications are. Make sure to check out which keyboards will be supported by your operating system, especially if you’re using a Mac because most hardware is designed for Windows. Here are some Mac-compatible ergonomic keyboards to make the search easier if you’re a Mac user.
Adjustability and Tilt
The lower the tilt, the better it is for your wrist. If your keyboard has the option of retractable feet, it’s ideal for keeping them closed. A higher keyboard will make you bend your wrist upwards, the extended use of which can cause your carpal tunnel symptoms to worsen.
As far as adjustability is concerned, a keyboard with higher adjustability has a higher chance of you finding a position that complements your body’s natural posture. Look for a keyboard tray to place under your desk to avoid issues with extending your wrist.
If you’re thinking of buying a wrist rest, think again. Most sources claim that wrist rests do not provide any added benefit. In fact, for people at risk of carpal tunnel issues, wrist rests tend to worsen these problems. They’re more trouble than they’re worth, so it’s best to rest your wrists yourself by taking a break from typing for a few minutes instead of using a wrist rest.
Types of Switches
Switches are how you type on a keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are built with mechanical switches, making typing a smoother and less “clunky” experience. If you prefer typing without making noise, you should get the red linear switches. If you like making click noises but having a solid response, you should acquire the blue, clicky switches. Get the brown, tactile switches if you want the best of both worlds.
How to Use an Ergonomic Keyboard
Once you’ve bought your ergonomic keyboard, you need to learn how to adjust your posture to make sure you reap the full benefits. If you don’t use an ergonomic keyboard properly, you will not notice a decrease in stress on your body, and your wrist may end up feeling more pain than it did before. Make sure you read the tips listed below properly to efficiently use this specialized hardware and make your office life more manageable.
- Wrists should be lined straight with forearms.
- Wrists and forearms should be parallel to the ground.
- Wrists should be in a neutral position.
- Elbows should be close to the body and shoulders relaxed.
- The keyboard should be placed in front of your eyes directly.
- The keyboard should be placed at about the same height as your elbows.
- The keyboard should not be too far from your arms.
Even if you are only thinking of buying an ergonomic keyboard while currently using a standard one, these tips should be brought into daily use to avoid stress on your body. No matter your workstation, some things should remain constant.
In conclusion, an ergonomic keyboard can solve many of your problems with working from home or working a desk job in an office. If you’re looking to revamp your entire setup to be more ergonomic, take a look at these accessories to make your workstation ergonomic. To avoid running into carpal tunnel problems, make sure to follow the basics of using a keyboard, whether it is an ergonomic one or any other.