While most office workers hate Monday, for me, Friday used to be the most dreaded day of the week. Every Friday, I struggled to find enough strength to finish my tasks for the day. And it wasn’t the deadlines that were wearing me out. It was my keyboard.
Every Friday, my wrists would be throbbing with pain that only got worse at night. So much so that I had a hard time holding my toothbrush. Apparently, typing for over 15 000 words a week can do that to you. After letting the pain ruin so many of my Fridays, I decided to do something about it before it got worse. So, I got myself an ergonomic keyboard.
You see, the standard keyboard isn’t designed to support our body’s natural position. When you place your hands on the keyboard, your shoulders tense up and your wrists are slightly elevated, with your palms forming a slight angle inwards. As a result, there’s a lot of stress on your tendons, palms, wrists and lower arm. And over time, this repetitive and prolonged stress can cause tingling, numbness and even lifelong damage, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
And that’s where ergonomic keyboards come in. They allow you to type efficiently while also reducing the stress on your arms by letting them assume a more relaxed position. Since each body is different, the best ergonomic keyboards are the ones that can be precisely adjusted to your body. Like for instance, the Kinesis ergonomic keyboard which consists of two separate modules connected with a cable allowing you to tweak the distance and position according to your natural position and typing preference.
This way your arms are relaxed and spread out in front of you, without forming weird angles and tensing up. In addition, the keyboard modules are placed on a zero degree slope which doesn’t require you to bend your wrist backwards. As a result, your wrist can assume a neutral position that prevents painful extension.
What’s more, whether it’s a Kinesis ergonomic keyboard or some other brand, most of them are designed to ensure a better tactile response. As opposed to modern keyboards which are flatter and smoother, ergonomic ones are slightly more elevated and utilise a tactile switch which doesn’t require a lot of force to be activated. As a result, you have better feedback and don’t have to exert much force when you type,. Not only can this reduce the impact on your fingers, but it can also increasing your typing speed, thus helping you perform better.