Studies show that the pain in some body parts, especially wrists, hands, arms, and back, are attributed to physical working conditions such as the tools used, including chairs, tables, and computers, as well as the awkward body positions while at work. Work-related injuries cause loss of productivity and profit. Good thing, more companies now use work equipment which puts workers in comfortable positions at work. One of these is the so-called ergonomic keyboards.
How do ergonomic keyboards work?
Ergonomic keyboards are specially designed keyboards with ergonomic considerations. They have special layouts that suit the natural curves of hands and wrists, allow a more comfortable typing position, and the keys are placed in more strategic positions.
Ergonomic keyboards prevent computer work-related injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injuries. They minimize muscle strains, excessive use of the same muscles, and awkward positions that potentially lead to injuries.
Advantages of ergonomic keyboards
It takes time for the user to adjust to the style of ergonomic keyboards. Manufacturers claim the ergonomic keyboards can reduce injuries and increase typing speed. The advantages vary depending on the type of the keyboard and the kind of comfort and working styles you need to address.
Split keyboards are a single board and allow the users to type at a different angle compared to the typical keyboards. The keys on split keyboards are detached into two to three groups.
The angled split keyboards, also called the Klockenburg keyboard, are comparable to the split keyboards. The key distinction is that the middle of the keyboard is tented up, making the index fingers higher than the little fingers while you type. There are some models of ergonomic keyboards that are adjustable such as the Key Ovation Goldtouch.
The contoured keyboards were developed next to the split keyboards. The keys on contoured keyboards are placed into two depressions approximately at shoulder width. The function keys are located between the key groups to be used by the thumbs. This kind of layout requires very little movement of wrists and arms.
The handheld keyboards are designed like a game controller and are used just like game controllers. With handheld keyboards, users can move around or lean back on a chair while typing. Some models of handheld keyboards are built with a trackball mouse to allow mouse movement and typing in a single device.
This is how the ergonomic keyboards work. If these ergonomic keyboards intrigue you, it is time to get one and try it yourself. There are a lot of models of ergonomic keyboards in the market today, so you will easily pick one. So how much does an ergonomic keyboard cost?
Costs of ergonomic keyboards
The price of ergonomic keyboards is higher than the regular keyboards. The layout makes the ergonomic keyboards unique and lives up to its name.
They are often marketed as premium tools according to features, pricing, and software. Full-featured mechanical keyboards usually cost around $250. High-end ergonomic keyboards usually cost much more.
The price could be considered the disadvantage of ergonomic keyboards. But if you think about the potential cost the company could lose every time an employee is injured or the potential inconvenience you could face as an individual when you experience RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome, this expensive piece of equipment is worth it.
Another disadvantage is that the layout of ergonomic keyboards can be disorienting. It usually takes time for a user to completely get used to the layout and orientation of keys.
There are also claims that ergonomic keyboards do not actually prevent any injuries and that the capability of ergonomic keyboards to prevent injuries is not backed up by science.
Do ergonomic keyboards work? The answer is yes and it depends on the type of keyboard. There are four types of keyboards (so far) that are intended for different types of users. They can be effective in preventing injuries while typing, making them worth their price.