Helpful tips to help you choose the right ergonomic keyboard
Are you wondering what an ergonomic keyboard is? Are ergonomic keyboards really a worthwhile investment? What is its purpose? Why is it shaped oddly? Why should you be concerned? And also, how can you choose the best ergonomic keyboard for you?
Look no further because we have the answers to all of your questions right here.
Proper Hand Positioning
It’s important to recognise how using a keyboard can cause repetitive strain injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome.
The best ergonomic keyboards will help prevent a world of pain. If your typing position isn’t great for your posture you could end up with a lot of aches and pains, which over time can become a serious problem and even result in surgery.
Effective ergonomic keyboards are designed to help you type in the most ergonomic way, tackling repetitive strain injuries and ensuring that you don’t need to reach for the painkillers.
Typing on a keyboard forces you to make a series of unnatural movements, including twisting your arms so they lay flat, parallel to the keyboard. We are finding that more and more people are twisting their arms in an unnatural way and overextending fingers to hit certain keys.
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to minimse strenuous twists and bends. Most ergonomic keyboards split the letter keys into two halves, rotating the keys so they point down toward the lower corners of the keyboard. This rotation allows your arms to approach the keyboard from a more natural angle. Split keyboards, which spread the keyboard across two halves or chassis, give you the ability to customise your rotation by placing the two sides of the keyboard as far apart as you’d like.
What are the reasons for using an ergonomic keyboard?
An ergonomic keyboard helps you to avoid making constant adjustments to your posture. They are not made like other keyboards, to suit a few people or certain body types; each ergonomic keyboard’s unique design is suitable for a lot of different body types, and physical conditions.
An ergonomic keyboard is suitable for every individual who uses a computer but more suitable than a standard keyboard for those who require a more specialist input device.
Without the right knowledge, a standard keyboard can cause injuries to your body. However, a lot of individuals are still not aware that they are hurting their bodies every day when they try to make a straight, flat keyboard suit their body types.
When computer users manipulate their wrist while typing some information, they may slowly start developing upper limb disorders such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and many others. Such problems can cause your arm to remain in an unnatural position throughout the whole working day.
Some upper limb issues that a typical keyboard can cause include:
- Bending upwards (Hyper-extension)
- Bending downwards (Flexion)
- Bending inwards (Adduction)
- Bending outwards (Abduction)
- Rotating downwards (pronation)
- Rotating upwards (supination)
A great solution for such wrist or upper limb issues is a Remtek Workplace ergonomic keyboard. They are specially designed with the consideration of the different requirements of individuals. They come in various shapes and sizes just as you prefer; some are split, curved, or even slim.
Are Ergonomic Keyboards Really Better?
Ergonomic Keyboards are designed to increase comfort and reduce strain on the user’s body. The idea is to minimise pressure on your wrist, upper body, and forearms.
An ergonomic keyboard is typically designed with the user in mind. Some are capable of twisting and curving up to 30 degrees either on the vertical edge or the horizontal edge, others have a fixed spilt and curvature, and there are even ones where the two halves of the keyboard can be separated up to 30cm to promote a natural hand placement for people at the higher end of the anthropometric scale.
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to display a sleek expert look whilst serving their desired function.
Many of us spend the majority of our days working on devices such as computers and laptops and can have exposure leading to a combination of damaging habits.
These habits may start by affecting your wrists, which can become injured as a result, prolonged use could even result in surgery as the only option.
Nonetheless, an ergonomic keyboard can act as your friend by minimising any typing-related problems. All of our palm and wrist supports are affordable and come with professional recommendations from our highly trained assessment team.
Alongside our range of ergonomic keyboards and equipment we always recommend positioning yourself well when you are typing; make sure that the keyboard is central to your body (a good tip is keeping the “B” key in line with your nose), don’t force your wrists into unnatural positions or lean forward and also take regular breaks during the day.
How to Pick an Ergonomic Keyboard?
Choosing the correct keyboard is not an easy task. However, we are here to support you in knowing what to consider before buying a keyboard and for anyone still confused, we recommend a DSE assessment. You need to consider one which not only fits your physical requirements, but also the task at hand, and the working pattern which you adopt (WFH, hybrid, mobile, office-based etc.)
To reduce the likelihood of the onset of upper limb disorders, it helps if you minimise unnatural postures, and an improved working environment can help achieve this.
The main objective is to help you as the user feel as comfortable as possible. We have compiled a list of our recommended ergonomic keyboards:
Microsoft Sculpt desktop – curved, split design, wireless keyboard, mouse and numberpad
Designed for productivity, with an eye on ergonomic excellence the natural arc keyboard design provides a relaxed, comfortable computing experience, enabling you to work without the stress, strain, and discomfort of other keyboards and mice you may have used in the past.
Logitech K350 Comfort Wave Keyboard – most appropriate for programmers
With its distinctive wave design and constant curve layout, Logitech® Wireless Keyboard K350 guides your hands into just the right position and conforms naturally to your fingers. Plus, the cushioned palm rest helps position your hands comfortably and properly on the keyboard.
Goldtouch Go! Wireless keyboard – split, portable, mac and windows friendly
Combine the portability and comfort of a fully ergonomic Goldtouch mobile keyboard with the best in Bluetooth technology, and what do you get? The elegant Go!2 Bluetooth Wireless Mobile Keyboard. With full-sized keys and all the benefits of Bluetooth technology, the Wireless Mobile Keyboard is truly the perfect companion for the on-the-go worker.
Kinesis Freestyle 2 – most appropriate for split mode, plenty of addons available
With up to 8-inch separation between the halves, or 20-inch separation with the extra-wide split model. This split design can truly accommodate any users hand placement.
Logitech Ergo K860 – most appropriate ergonomic keyboard for Apple users
Introducing ERGO K860, a split ergonomic keyboard designed for better posture, less strain, and more support.
You’ll type more naturally with a curved, split keyframe that improves typing posture. The sloping form reduces muscle strain on your wrists and forearms – keeping your hands and shoulders relaxed.
Standivarius Solo X – lightweight, portable, rechargeable, low impact keys
The Low travel, scissor-key structure for an excellent typing experience, and full-sized keycaps with hi-definition markings help improve accuracy. The Micro-USB cable allows recharging from laptop or mobile charger and removes the requirement for batteries.
Our top input device, the ‘Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Wireless Keyboard and Number Pad’ goes beyond comfort and has some fantastic features including:
- Cushioned palm rest to aid in relieving wrist pressure to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and place hands in neutral posture
- Contoured shape encourages relaxed ergonomic position
- Natural Arc key layout mimics the curved shape of the fingertips
- Split keyset design helps to position hands in a natural, relaxed position
- Separate number pad provides greater flexibility for workspace setup
A recent article from Forbes highlights “7 Of The Best Accessories For An Ergonomic Desk Setup In Your Home Office” and would you believe or very own stocked ‘Microsoft Sculpt’ made the list under best ergonomic keyboard.
The article describes how ‘The Microsoft Sculpt goes a long way to that end by having a split keyset design to keep your wrists relaxed. One really nice detail is the split space bar that makes it easier to push from different positions and actually register. A separate number pad is also great for ergonomics because it allows you to get your mouse closer to the keyboard and cut down on reaching.’
What our ergonomics specialists have to say
“We understand that choosing an appropriate ergonomic keyboard can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re making an investment for an employee. We are here to review individual’s and employee’s working environments and offer guidance on the most suitable products. There is no one size fits all and every item is completely unique.
If you would like to find out more about our ergonomic keyboards, equipment or assessments call us today on 0161 7458353.”
5 Factors to Consider When Selecting the Correct Ergonomic Keyboard
Using an ergonomic keyboard, will help you to avoid wrist, hand, and arm injuries. There are some factors that you should consider to ensure you pick the right ergonomic keyboard. They include:
The first factor to consider is if the keyboard contains a split keypad design. A typical keyboard with the QWERTY format is split at the center resulting in a V form. This can benefit you as it is natural on your fingers, and it also reduces the stress on your wrists.
It would help if you considered the most appropriate shape for you. Ergonomic keyboards can place keys at an angle of up to 45 degrees, while others have a fixed split.
An adjustable ergonomic keyboard is a great tool, especially if you don’t know the suitable split angle for you. Enjoy flexibility when you want a specific angle on your ergonomic keyboard.
Generally, ergonomic keyboards are pricier than straight keyboards. Nevertheless, it is worth the investment. Investing in an ergonomic keyboard saves a lot of long-term costs, including time off from work if you need any medical support or surgery.
Before buying an ergonomic keyboard:
- Do some tests at home to determine the right angle and keyboard height for you.
- Ensure your wrists are in their most natural position; your shoulders ought to be comfortable when the keyboard is facing you.
Conducting tests will help you make an informed decision, however if you require any assistance, one of our team members will be happy to assist.
Ensure you use products that make your workstation ergonomic, especially if you use your computer regularly. Adjust the position of the mouse and the keyboard until you get a comfortable position without wrist, back or neck pain.
As we have seen above, ergonomic keyboards are essential for eliminating upper limb health issues. It is crucial to consider the above factors before purchasing an ergonomic keyboard to ensure you get the right ergonomic input device for you.
Don’t forget if you need further advice or guidance including an assessment we can help!
A note from our Head of Ergonomics, Chris Barlow
“We know that choosing any ergonomic item can seem like a challenge. Our dedicated team of professionals are here to help guide you along the way. The most important thing to remember is that these items including ergonomic keyboards are there to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
For employers we offer ‘Disability Inclusion Training’ and ‘Disability Awareness Training’ and our sister company ‘Remtek Systems’ is renowned for disabled student allowance services and assistive technology training.
We can help with a wide range of assessments and recommendations and even have an employer partnership offering. Our DSE assessments involve individualised assessments and reports.
These assessments explore the impact of an individuals’ difficulties in the workplace or during their studies and identifies tailored support strategies to help them thrive. It includes the demonstration of innovative assistive technology software and specialist equipment including ergonomic keyboards, and the assessment is followed up with individualised report detailing all of the recommended strategies.
We’re more than happy to have initial discussions to see how we can support individuals and employers with a range of ergonomic requirements. Email us on email@example.com or phone on 0161 7458353 to get in touch with our team of specialists.”
Get started with your DSE assessment today
View our blog for all of our useful guidance on ergonomic assessments and equipment including our recommended ergonomic keyboards.
If you have an ergonomics question or would like to book a FREE consultation with one of our experts email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.