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4 Tips For Using Ergonomic Keyboards

Thursday, December 30, 2010
By Anne Kramer

Many who work on computers may have worked on traditional keyboards and in turn, have suffered a form of stress injury – including carpal tunnel. To reduce this stress on their fingers, wrists and hands, they are turning to natural or ergonomic keyboards for relief.

As more people move to using these keyboards, many misuse or don’t understand how to operate these devices properly. Some may even aggravate their injuries or decrease their typing efficiency. For those who are looking for some ways to use keyboards properly, let’s look at 4 ways to utilize them efficiently:

Using An Ergonomic Keyboard

  1. Wrist position – When using a natural or ergonomic keyboard, make sure to keep your wrist in a neutral position. This type of position would ensure your wrist is parallel to the desk while keeping the middle finger somewhat in line with the forearm. This type of position keeps strain off of the shoulders, arms wrists and focuses on better wrist positioning when working on the keyboard.
  2. Light touch – Every person has their own way of typing on a keyboard, but for this particular type, it’s best to use a light touch when typing. This helps to reduce undue stress on the wrists, fingers and ensures your keyboard stays operational for a longer amount of time. Those who have a tendency to type hard, have histories of finger strain and even injuries in their forearms.
  3. Curve fingers – This is a given for those who have typed for a longer amount of time, but for others, it’s good advice: keep your fingers curved and don’t hold any fingers rigid or up. This has been known to increase undue strain on the fingers, wrists, and forearms. It has also lead to lost productivity due to poor typing skills.
  4. Move your arm, not fingers – If you’re having problems reaching the keyboard, don’t reach with your fingers, reach with your arms. This relieves any stress on your hands, fingers and wrists. It also stabilizes your arms in a position for more efficient typing.
Most of the people who have injuries such as carpal tunnel from the use of traditional keyboards have opted-in to use natural or ergonomic keyboards. Of those, many don’t understand proper uses of these unique typing devices. If they follow some steps, as those listed above, they will not only enjoy less injuries, but more productive typing.

Types of Ergonomic Keyboards

When shopping for ergonomic keyboards, there are two different types that should be considered. The first type is an adjustable ergonomic keyboard. This keyboard lets you make adjustments to suit your positioning in order to assume a more natural posture. Goldtouch makes adjustable ergonomic keyboards. The second type is a fixed, natural style ergonomic keyboard. These keyboards, such as the Microsoft 4000, provide for a natural wrist position and include 2 separate groups of keys to allow for natural positioning.

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