Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,070
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 132 Times in 86 Posts

    For your health: Finding an ergonomic keyboard




    BEST HARDWARE

    For your health: Finding an ergonomic keyboard

    By Lincoln Spector

    If you spend a lot of time working at your PC, you're likely to suffer a computer-related physical ailment eventually — if you haven't already.

    There are ways to prevent these workstation-induced injuries, and they start with the keyboard.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/best-hardware/for-your-health-finding-an-ergonomic-keyboard/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2014-05-07 at 14:17.

  2. #2
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    This was a useful article with things I didn't know but it exposes a big big beef that I have about keyboards.
    Keyboards all just happen to be black, or off-black.

    Why?

    I think this issue needs to addressed, and this is why. With the small and insignificant dull or cream character against a dark background, it is difficult to see to type accurately.

    I never learned to type without looking, like most folks I guess. The consequence is that I need strong light, or reading glasses to type, and even then, with a black keyboard, I make mistakes.

    I have one or two legacy keyboards from the early age of computing. Like Rolls Royces, they are. Big, black text on cream background, jobs that stands up to a lot of hammering. They too have separation between the CapsLock and A keys like the Goldtouch and Kinesis models shown - that helps prevent mistypes too. Unfortunately I can't find any more white-on-black keyboards.

    The theme is ergonomics. Surely, if I can do my keying in more quickly with a panel I'm happy with, I'm going to be much less likely to suffer from RSI and so on.

    One other thing. If Lincoln is going to go on to problems with mice or mouses ! - one tip I can pass on is to learn to use the mouse with left or right hand and alternate to share the strain. It took me about a week to get the hang of it.

    Russell
    Last edited by RussellXPD; 2012-10-11 at 08:10.

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    102
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    I've had all kinds of problems and have tried a bunch of keyboards. The upshot is two pieces of advice:

    1. AVOID Microsoft keyboards, which are terrible, with mushy keys and features that are actually anti-ergonomic. They cock your wrists back, increasing the likelihood of RSI. Even worse, the keys are arched upward, which emphasizes the strain caused by the different lengths of your fingers.

    2. Grit your teeth and pay the high price ($299) for the Kinesis Contoured keyboard. http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/ The keys are in a cup for each hand, equalizing the finger movements. The switches are top quality and do not bang at the bottom of the key travel. It takes a week or so to get used to because the key layout is in vertical rows rather than angled as on the conventional keyboard. (The important design feature is the cup shape, which the Freestyle and Maxim models don't have.) IMO, they're the only company that knows what it's doing. Finally, their tech support is superb.
    Last edited by krsmav; 2012-10-12 at 10:14.

  4. #4
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    near Boulder, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    112
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    I use a MS Natural Ergonomic Desktop 4000 v1.0 from ca. 2008; it DOES have indicator lights for NumLock/CapsLock/ScrollLock/FunctionLock -- they are located just below the Back<-/Forward-> buttons at the bottom of the keyboard. It also appears to have all the buttons and keys of the 7000, including the useful separate * ( ) keys that do not need to have the Shift key pressed simultaneously, and the F1-F12 keys that can be switched to other purposes using the FLock.
    My only quibbles are that the "M" key-label wore off prematurely, so I had to relabel the key myself, and the keys are not backlit, for working in the dark. I must say that I can't agree with krsmav's complaints, at least about the NED. Key action is not as "clicky" as in the old days, but not mushy either. And the slant of the keys from front to back feels right to me.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    San Jose, Costa Rica
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
    Good article... as always. Laptops of course are "you get what they give you" so you have to get by (netbooks can be more tiring!). But for the desktop, I STILL use my old COMPUSA SK-6200... angled, tented and well enough laid out for a KB with a number pad... but to reach past the number pad for the mouse? Easy, use your LEFT hand for mousing! It will take you about a week to make the right to left transition, but look at the benefits for the right-handed person. No more letting go of the mouse to grab the pencil and move the notebook closer to jot something down... and them move it back to get a grip on the mouse again... what a waste of time. With your mousing left hand, just pick up the pencil and start writing... and even scroll down without letting go of the pencil! I can't believe that it hasn't occurred to the majority to make the switch for the conveniences it offers. As a touch typist I can get by using just my right hand for short data entry like forms WITHOUT removing my left hand from the mouse... and thus moving to the next spaces to fill in without removing my typing hand from the keyboard. I can drink coffee with my left hand on the mouse, I can eat cookies with my left hand still on the mouse and almost anything else you need to do as a right handed person. Give it a week and if you can't make the change, then something is wrong. And hey, it is never too late to learn to touch type as there are many online proggys to learn and practice with if Mavis Beacon is beyond your reach. Try it!

  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,396
    Thanks
    445
    Thanked 404 Times in 376 Posts
    Not gonna give up my IBM click keyboard. Also, not gonna give up being used to the standard layout of 99% of the keyboards out there. If I change to an "ergonomic" layout, my typing speed will probably drop whenever I use another keyboard, such as the one at work.

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,396
    Thanks
    445
    Thanked 404 Times in 376 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by olamoree View Post
    Good article... as always. Laptops of course are "you get what they give you" so you have to get by (netbooks can be more tiring!). But for the desktop, I STILL use my old COMPUSA SK-6200... angled, tented and well enough laid out for a KB with a number pad... but to reach past the number pad for the mouse? Easy, use your LEFT hand for mousing! It will take you about a week to make the right to left transition, but look at the benefits for the right-handed person. No more letting go of the mouse to grab the pencil and move the notebook closer to jot something down... and them move it back to get a grip on the mouse again... what a waste of time. With your mousing left hand, just pick up the pencil and start writing... and even scroll down without letting go of the pencil! I can't believe that it hasn't occurred to the majority to make the switch for the conveniences it offers. As a touch typist I can get by using just my right hand for short data entry like forms WITHOUT removing my left hand from the mouse... and thus moving to the next spaces to fill in without removing my typing hand from the keyboard. I can drink coffee with my left hand on the mouse, I can eat cookies with my left hand still on the mouse and almost anything else you need to do as a right handed person. Give it a week and if you can't make the change, then something is wrong. And hey, it is never too late to learn to touch type as there are many online proggys to learn and practice with if Mavis Beacon is beyond your reach. Try it!
    Actually, you can use whichever keyboard you want with a laptop, if you're working at your desk. I use a laptop at work, and I have the only real keyboard ever made, the old-time IBM click keyboard. My port replicator has a PS/2 port on it, but if it didn't, I could use the PS/2 to USB adapter cable -- works perfectly.

    Same applies to the mouse. However, your "left hand on the mouse" suggestion greatly intrigues me. I think I'll try it. Not sure why no one else has ever thought of that.

  8. #8
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Naples, Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,231
    Thanks
    40
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Late reading the article, but wanted to post that I found it really useful. Hadn't looked at ergonomic keyboards in a long time and this made me start thinking about them again. Appreciate the detailed review and the personal recommendation. As an aside, it also reminded me to get up and stretch more often!

    As for the left hand on the mouse idea, great: it works great for me ... I'm left-handed!! ... but my right-handed partner got used to using the mouse with his left hand when we used to share my computer and has made it his preferred position now that he has his own laptop. He says it feels awkward to use it with his right hand now. Of course, after reading the rationale for using the mouse on the left even if you're right-handed, I'm beginning to think I should try using it with my right hand to keep my left free for note taking!

    Linda

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •