When you spend your days typing, the keyboard you use becomes a critical tool. While a standard flat keyboard gets the job done, you need to ask yourself if it is the most efficient tool for the job.
I spent years using whatever basic, barebones keyboard I could get my hands on. This was often simply the cheapest model I could find at Best Buy or Walmart, and I never put too much thought into it. I was getting my work done and didn’t realize there was an issue. Sure, after a long session of writing my wrists and hands would be a little tired, but I accepted that this just came with the territory.
My mindset shifted when I saw an ergonomic keyboard with what I thought was an interesting design. I wasn’t sure how much difference it would make, if any, but I decided to give it a shot. That day marked a complete change in my keyboard choices forever, as the benefits became quite clear. While I do use a laptop for most of my work, I almost always dock it to two external monitors and use a wireless mouse and keyboard for a comfortable workstation. The ergonomic keyboard fits perfectly into this setup.
Benefits of an Ergonomic Keyboard
There are different types of ergonomic keyboard designs, but the most important key to look for is adjustable vs. non-adjustable ergonomic keyboards.
Ergonomic keyboards that you may find from Microsoft and Logitech are of the non-adjustable type. The keyboard is static, meaning that it doesn’t move, and it’s typically in a wave design.
The better option when it comes to ergonomic keyboards is an adjustable keyboard. Adjustable keyboards can be adjusted for each user’s preferred angle. Keyboards from Goldtouch, for example, can be adjusted to tilt and splay from 0-30 degrees on both the horizontal and vertical planes.
This adjustable split design makes it possible for users with different body types to be able to adjust the keyboard to fit them. By working on an adjustable ergonomic keyboard that is customizable for each individual, it allows each user to find a comfortable neutral position to type in. This cuts down on repetitive strain injuries in the long run.
The problem with non-adjustable keyboards is that it only works for a certain small percentage of people, since it is made for only one body type. People with smaller or wider shoulder frames may not be able to use these because they cannot comfortably find a way to type because it is non-adjustable.
I prefer the adjustable ergonomic keyboard for this reason.
Reduction of Carpal Tunnel and Other Repetitive Stress Injuries
Carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injuries are common among those who type all day. When your hands and wrists are in an unnatural position and repetitively making the same motions constantly, it causes strain on both your hands and wrists. Over time, this can result in repetitive stress injuries (RSI), most notably carpal tunnel syndrome.
The symptoms of RSI are the following:
- Mild to severe pain in wrists and hands
- Sensitivity to cold and heat
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you may be suffering from frequent RSI. This is an issue I dealt with myself, and it stopped completely when I made that work-life-altering switch to a more ergonomic keyboard.
Because the keyboard allows you to type with your hands in a more natural position, the strain on your wrist and hands is greatly reduced. This helps prevent and alleviate the symptoms of RSI for all types. Interestingly, it doesn’t matter how slow or fast you type; the severity of RSI is the same for typers of any speed, according to a study by the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospitals in London.
This is especially notable if you’re a business owner who supplies workstations for your employees. If you’ve dealt with worker’s comp claims due to RSI, then replacing your workforce’s standard keyboards with quality ergonomic keyboards can help reduce these claims.
When I switched to an ergonomic keyboard, I also noticed my productivity increase. I hadn’t considered this potential positive side effect when I made the switch; I was just looking for a way to reduce the pain and fatigue in my wrist and hands after a long day. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the productivity boost I experienced, and it makes a lot of sense that this would happen based on the comfort of typing on these keyboards.
Because the ergonomic keyboard is far more comfortable to type on, it allows me to work for longer stretches without having to rest my hands. The typical hand fatigue and soreness in my wrists was eliminated with a simple keyboard change. As a result, I can now sit and type for as long as I want. Truthfully, I now need a mental break from working far before any physical discomfort forces me to need a rest.
If you’re like I was, you are wasting a lot of potential productivity time due to taking frequent unscheduled breaks to rest your hands. An ergonomic keyboard just may be the solution if you find yourself wanting to increase how much work you can get done in a typical 8 hour day.
Don’t Just Take My Word for It
Those who type frequently tend to change keyboards quite often. Next time you’re looking for a switch, try an ergonomic keyboard to experience the difference for yourself. There’s a great selection of different ergonomic keyboard options available from Goldtouch that provide incredible typing experiences. If you travel frequently, try the Go!2 Mobile Keyboard in Wired or Bluetooth Wireless. This keyboard is also great for the office worker as well. Another great keyboard option is the V2 Comfort Keyboard in both PC and Mac, and PC only versions.
Give one of these a try and I’m confident that you’ll notice a decrease in discomfort caused from typing and a little productivity boost as well. Making the change sooner than later is optimal if you’re already suffering from some form of RSI that is affecting your ability to type properly on a regular keyboard. You’ll be glad you switched.