Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (2022)

Computers and laptops are some of our most used possessions in life, whether you’re surfing the web at home and playing games on your PC or typing up important documents at work, they’re always there to make life a little easier. The keyboards we use with our computers can have even more impact, though, as they get the most use and require a bit of effort to operate.

Consider when you’re sitting at your computer and how much use your keyboard gets; you could be typing on a chat program to your friend or typing a professional email to your work colleagues, and all the while your fingers are constantly working.

In addition to the typing movement, your wrists and hands are usually awkwardly position, and there’s some kind of strain on your back and neck.

Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (1)

If you’ve never used an ergonomic keyboard before, there’s a good chance you don’t understand why they’ve been such a big hit in recent years. These keyboards have been designed to target all of the aforementioned problems and provide a comfortable and healthy way for you to operate your computer, and they do so with just one simple accessory.

Using the science and study of ergonomics, keyboard designers have been able to create accessories that are far more beneficial than a standard keyboard as they’re able to increase your productivity and improve your comfort levels.

However, there’s a lot more to them than that as every type of keyboard can have their own unique shape, layout, and purpose, so it helps to know a little more about these miracle devices.

In this article you will learn...

The Importance Of Ergonomic Equipment

Ergonomic Vs Standard Keyboards

Types Of Ergonomic Keyboards

Split Keyboard

Contoured Keyboard

Angle Split Keyboard

Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboards

Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard

Wired Ergonomic Keyboard

Numeric Pad

(Video) Ergonomics Expert Explains How to Set Up Your Desk | WSJ

Important Parts Of An Ergonomic Keyboard

Keypad/Keys

Numeric Pad

Hotkeys

Height Adjustment

Function Keys

Wrist Pad

Mouse

The Benefits Of Using Ergonomic Keyboards

Typing Speed

Comfort

Productivity

Various Keyboard Layouts

Qwerty

(Video) 5 Best Ergonomic Keyboards 2020

Dvorak

Maltron

Colemak

The Best Ergonomic Keyboard Manufacturers

Logitech

Microsoft

Kinesis

Who Could Benefit From An Ergonomic Keyboard?

Students

Gamers

Retired

Office Workers

A Simple Ergonomic Solution

The Importance Of Ergonomic Equipment

According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the average American spends seven hours a day at their computer, and for most of us, we put these hours in at work. Although it might seem fairly standard to be on your computer as you work, when you add up those hours and look at the weekly, monthly, and yearly totals it can be a bit surprising.

The trend of ergonomic office equipment really began to take off in the 1990s as people realized just how damaging it was to spend hours each week working at desks and computers that just weren’t designed with our health and comfort in mind.

Ergonomics refers to the study of efficiency in people’s workplaces, and specially designed accessories such as ergonomic keyboards are a key factor in improving not only efficiency but also comfort as you work.

One of the best things about the ergonomic equipment trend is that these accessories are affordable and unpretentious but they have such a great impact. For those who have never tried an ergonomically designed accessory before, they’re amazed at how much better they work and the improvement in their mood and comfort, all from one simple piece of equipment.

(Video) 6 most popular ergonomic keyboards | Upgrade your desktop ergonomics to prevent wrist & hand pain

Ergonomic Vs Standard Keyboards

For many of us, we gladly work with the equipment we’re supplied with at work and don’t give a second thought to the fact that there are better options out there.

If you’ve used a standard computer for your entire life you’ll be used to the feeling that the keyboard has, and may even find an ergonomic keyboard a little strange at first, however after just a few hours of use you’ll definitely feel the difference.

Traditionally speaking, ergonomic keyboards have been designed with the human form in mind and they come in designs and shapes which suit how we work more naturally. Some examples include keyboards that are separated or split to meet our hands on either side or those with a tilt or angle to them that reduces strain in our hands and arms.

Although standard keyboards allow us to type efficiently, the damage that can be done over the months and years of their use is astounding. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, ergonomic equipment can be used to reduce the number of musculoskeletal disorders that occur at work.

Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (2)

These can include everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to lower back injuries, many of which are commonly caused by the use of standard keyboards and other office equipment that hasn’t been ergonomically designed.

Most standard keyboards come in the same general design, and this is another area where the ergonomic keyboard is superior. There are many different types to choose from so that you can ensure your equipment is the perfect fit for your body and how you work, so it’s simply a matter of finding the best one.

Types Of Ergonomic Keyboards

As we learn more about the study of ergonomics and how we can continue to create products that make us more efficient and comfortable, it’s likely that ergonomic keyboards will continue to evolve and vary. For now, though, these are some of the more common types of ergonomic keyboards and what they offer to the user.

Split Keyboard

These are fixed keyboards that feature a space between the keys straight down the middle, and sometimes they can be separated into two or three separate areas. Usually, these keyboards lay at a flat angle but they have the option to adjust their tilt or where the separate keyboards sit.

Contoured Keyboard

These have been designed to ensure very little movement of the arms and hands, and feature the keys placed in two areas in line with your shoulders. The function keys can be found between the two thumbs for easy access without adding any extra need for movement.

Angle Split Keyboard

These are somewhat similar to the standard split keyboard, however, the middle is tented up at a higher angle. This allows the user to have their index fingers higher than their other fingers and more comfortable to type with.

Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboards

The key difference with the mechanical keyboard is that the keys have been fitted with spring activation which makes them easier to type on and more succinct. Many gamers choose to use these as they sometimes require speed and efficiency while gaming.

Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard

The wireless ergonomic keyboard allows the user to operate it from anywhere as long as it’s in range with their keyboard, so they can choose various positions for comfort and flexibility.

Wired Ergonomic Keyboard

Some people prefer not to own wireless accessories due to the fact that they require battery changes and sometimes don’t have the desired signal strength. Wired ergonomic keyboards not only have a connection from the device itself to your computer but can also connect split keyboards together with a simple wire in between.

Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (3)

Numeric Pad

Some keyboards come with a separate numeric pad designed to improve productivity. These can be separated on the keyboard or as their own accessory which enables you to operate them like you would a handheld calculator.

Important Parts Of An Ergonomic Keyboard

Not every ergonomic keyboard has been made the same, but you can usually find many of the same parts on every style. Here are a few common parts you can expect to see on an ergonomic keyboard and what their purpose is.

Keypad/Keys

The most important part of an ergonomic keyboard and one of the key factors that makes it ergonomically sound, the keypads of keyboards have been arranged in certain ways to make typing more efficient. Some unique styles take some time to learn, though, especially if you’re used to a QWERTY setup.

Numeric Pad

Most ergonomic keyboards come with a separate numeric pad if you use a lot of numbers in your typing, however, it is possible to get one where the numbers are in the top row. Other styles feature a separate numeric pad that can detach completely from the keyboard as well.

Hotkeys

These are another way to describe keys that act as a shortcut and are ideal for people who do repetitive action in their work. You can program your hotkeys to do any function you wish, for example, Save or Print so that you spend less time and stress on your wrists by clicking and selecting certain actions.

Height Adjustment

With the key purpose of ergonomics being to make your equipment fit you perfectly, all good ergonomic keyboard should come with some level of adjustability. This is usually found with a height adjustment at the back of the keyboard that allows you to change the height and sometimes even the angle of your keyboard.

Function Keys

These are also found on regular keyboards, but they can be slightly different in an ergonomic setup. A function key is another way to enable shortcuts but they are laid out in an easier format for accessibility.

Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (4)

Wrist Pad

For added comfort and less strain on your wrists, ergonomic keyboards come with a padded rest under the keypad so that you can rest your wrists on top. This means when you’re in the neutral position or even as you type, you’ll have the support of cushioning under your wrist and be less at risk of developing an injury.

Mouse

Some ergonomic keyboards come in a bundle with a mouse so that the two can work together to give you the most supportive and efficient setup. These mouse models allow for natural hand and wrist placements so that you can receive the complete ergonomic treatment when working at your computer.

The Benefits Of Using Ergonomic Keyboards

You might not realize something as simple as a keyboard can have so many benefits, but the ergonomic keyboard certainly has a lot to offer.

Not only are there many great advantages for your health and wellbeing, but you will find that your work also improves and so does your mood. Here are just a few reasons why an ergonomic keyboard is a smart investment for your home or workplace setup.

Reduced Risk Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Studies have shown that around 3 in every 100 people will be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in their lifetime, and this can have devastating effects.

Using an ergonomic keyboard can prevent strain and pressure that leads to carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as other repetitive strain injuries and musculoskeletal disorders that commonly occur from using your computer.

Typing Speed

Using any one of the layouts found on an ergonomic keyboard mean that your hands are better positioned to reach the keys, which leads to an increase in your typing speed and accuracy. For those who spend a lot of their day typing, this can make you far more efficient in your job.

Comfort

Ergonomic keyboards have been designed to reduce the strain and stretching that you usually do when typing so that you’re able to feel more comfortable. Spending the entire day at work and on your computer means you’re usually experiencing some level of discomfort, and this can be significantly reduced or eliminated when you use an ergonomic keyboard.

(Video) ADM42: Compact Ergonomic Keyboard Premium Edition

Productivity

When you’re working more comfortably and able to type faster, your overall productivity will improve. This means you can get your work done sooner so you have more time to relax, and do so in complete comfort.

Various Keyboard Layouts

A major difference with ergonomic keyboards is that some of them come with their own unique keyboard layout.

These keys have been placed strategically to ensure you don’t have to strain to reach them, and some people claim that they can improve your typing speed and improve your comfort just by using a different layout. Here are some of the more popular keypad styles and what they offer the user.

Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (5)

Qwerty

This is the most common layout of keyboards found on most computers and laptops, and are also popular with ergonomic keyboards too. Although some claim that qwerty keyboards are counterproductive, it’s still yet to be proven that the speed achieved with this layout is any less than the other alternative styles.

Dvorak

This style was invented due to the fact that the qwerty layout was thought to use too much energy and too many movements of your fingers. The key difference is where your fingers rest on the home row and the most used keys are placed closer together.

Studies conducted by Assistive Technology Research Institute even found a slight improvement in the typing speed using Dvorak, however, it did take some time to master.

Colemak

This is fairly similar to qwerty still with only 17 keys being placed in different spots. This style allows your fingers to rest more without as much stretching and gets rid of the lesser used Caps Lock key altogether.

Maltron

The Maltron style is the most confusing to look at as it places all of the keys in separate areas around the board. These are said to be more ergonomic than the qwerty keyboard, however, it can take the longest to learn how to use.

Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (6)

With a few different styles available, it’s best to test these out for yourself to see which one you’re most comfortable with. However, you shouldn’t judge them just on your first try as it can take some time to get used to, so you should experiment with a few different layouts and give them yourself a chance to learn how they work before you decide.

The Best Ergonomic Keyboard Manufacturers

In addition to the many different keyboard layouts, there are so many other features to consider when looking for an ergonomic keyboard.

The easiest way to spot one that’s good quality and designed with careful consideration is to shop around with some of the leading keyboard manufacturers. Here are some of the most reputable ergonomic keyboard makers and how their products differ.

Logitech

This is one of the most renowned brands in electronics and computer accessories, and the Logitech ergonomic keyboard comes in many different styles. Logitech puts a lot of focus on the extra bits and pieces, so if you’re looking for something plain and simple then you might want to keep shopping.

Microsoft

It’s no surprise that Microsoft ergonomic keyboards are considered some of the best, as this company knows everything there is to know about how to make computer users happy. Microsoft keyboards come in two main styles, their Naturals range, and the more advanced Sculpt designs, each with their own unique benefits to the user.

Adesso

Considered as some of the most affordable and best quality keyboards, Adesso ergonomic keyboards are great for those who don’t have a lot of money to spend. They somewhat resemble the Microsoft Natural keyboards but without the high price.

Kinesis

With over 25 years of experience designing just keyboards, Kinesis is known for creating some of the best and brightest in the industry. Although they are a little more expensive, Kinesis ergonomic keyboards are also some of the most comfortable and efficient to use, so it’s worth the extra money.

Who Could Benefit From An Ergonomic Keyboard?

If you’re yet to join the millions who enjoy an ergonomic keyboard at home or work, you might be wondering if they’re really for you. Although there are countless benefits to be experienced, many people simply put up with the keyboard they’re given at work or don’t bother to upgrade at home because they think they won’t gain anything from it.

Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (7)

Here are a few people who could benefit most from using an ergonomic keyboard, and who could also consider upgrading to other ergonomic equipment down the line.

Students

For students who put in long hours on campus and at home, it pays to have an ergonomic keyboard working for you. This means you’re able to type faster and feel more comfortable wherever you might be working from so that you have more spare time to relax.

Gamers

If you’re a PC gamer, you know how important a good keyboard can be. Having an ergonomic keyboard enables you to play for hours on end without feeling discomfort, so you can focus on the game at hand.

Retired

For those who still use their computer from time to time but still like to feel comfortable, an ergonomic keyboard is a must. Whether you’re catching up with friends on your email or doing banking online, having a quality keyboard with an ergonomic setup will keep stress and strain off of your body.

Office Workers

Regardless of the setup at your office, you should still request your own ergonomic keyboard to add. Even if the rest of your workstation can’t be ergonomically equipped, just this one simple accessory can have a huge impact on how you work through your long eight hour days.

A Simple Ergonomic Solution

We often hear about the importance of using a comfortable and supportive chair in the office or having your workspace setup correctly, but an ergonomic keyboard is something a lot smaller that can have a greater effect.

Your Guide To Ergonomic Keyboards | Type With Style.com (8)

There’s no doubt that the study of ergonomics will find even greater developments in areas where we can improve, and we will see this reflected in future styles of ergonomic keyboards.

No matter who you are or where you do your typing, there’s no denying that an ergonomic keyboard would be a great advantage to you. These handy accessories can make you more comfortable as you type, reduce the usual strain and pressure that comes with traditional keyboards, and as a result make you more productive in work and at home.

However, just like any good ergonomic product, it pays to do your research before you leap in and buy one. Every style of keyboard offers something unique and each brand has their own strengths and weaknesses, so you should have a good idea of what they’re all about before you invest in one for your office or home.

With the right ergonomic keyboard working for you, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and how much more productive you can be. Just one simple accessory attached to your standard computer can have a phenomenal effect, provided you choose the best fit for your needs.

FAQs

Do ergonomic keyboards actually work? ›

Ergonomic keyboards will greatly improve your situation over using regular keyboards, but they will not solve all your problems altogether. In addition to all the arm and wrist pains ergonomic boards can solve, they can also improve back posture, further improving your health.

Should a keyboard be flat or raised? ›

A computer keyboard and keyboard tray that allow comfortable typing or keying. Your keyboard should be at a height that allows your elbows to be bent about 90 degrees and close to your sides. Many keyboards and keyboard trays have wrist supports to help keep your wrists in a neutral, almost straight position.

What is the most comfortable keyboard layout? ›

Because the Dvorak layout concentrates the vast majority of key strokes to the home row, the Dvorak layout uses about 63% of the finger motion required by QWERTY, which is claimed to make the keyboard more ergonomic.

What are the disadvantages of ergonomic keyboards? ›

Ergonomic keyboards can actually cause certain injuries and fatigue. Because ergonomic keyboards force users to keep their elbows at a wide distance from their bodies, usage can actually cause the elbows to become fatigued. In some cases, this can lead to injury.

Why do people use ergonomic keyboards? ›

Reduces the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome – An ergonomic keyboard is designed to follow the natural positioning of the wrist and forearm. The keyboards are narrower which reduces the strains when reaching for the mouse and using it.

Is it hard to get used to an ergonomic keyboard? ›

Steps to Adjust an Ergonomic Keyboard

The split between the right and left side of the keyboard can be challenging to get accustomed to. This is especially true if this is your first time using a split keyboard. By using the keyboard in this position for a few days, you'll speed up the transition process.

Why are ergonomic keyboards split? ›

The primary reason split keyboards are so comfortable is because they reduce something ergonomists call ulnar deviation. Ulnar deviation occurs when the wrist is bent outward in the direction of the little finger which causes the carpal tunnel in the wrist to constrict.

What keyboard is good for carpal tunnel? ›

The Curved or Wave-Shaped Keyboard

These are angled keyboards that immediately reduce the repetitive stress on the carpal tunnel. The layout of the letters, numbers, and functions is usually the same as a traditional keyboard. The curved keyframe places your hands, wrists, and forearms in a more natural posture.

Is an ergonomic keyboard good for carpal tunnel? ›

Ergonomic keyboards greatly reduce your chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. This is especially true when you spend countless hours using your computer's keyboard every week.

Is a mechanical keyboard more ergonomic? ›

Heavy typists and gamers love mechanical keyboards due to their overall better responsiveness. The keys on the mechanical keyboards require less force to register, making them more ergonomic for your fingers.

How can I make my keyboard more ergonomic? ›

  1. Have your mouse, keyboard and screen positioned in front of you. ...
  2. Position the mouse and keyboard at about elbow height. ...
  3. Place the mouse and keyboard close to the front of the desk. ...
  4. Rest your hands and wrists when not typing. ...
  5. If you use a keyboard tray, use a suitable one. ...
  6. Avoid using a laptop keyboard and trackpad.

Are split keyboards more ergonomic? ›

The primary reason split keyboards are so comfortable is because they reduce something ergonomists call ulnar deviation. Ulnar deviation occurs when the wrist is bent outward in the direction of the little finger which causes the carpal tunnel in the wrist to constrict.

What keyboard is good for carpal tunnel? ›

The Curved or Wave-Shaped Keyboard

These are angled keyboards that immediately reduce the repetitive stress on the carpal tunnel. The layout of the letters, numbers, and functions is usually the same as a traditional keyboard. The curved keyframe places your hands, wrists, and forearms in a more natural posture.

Videos

1. Noiseless Ergonomic Ultra-Thin Wireless Keyboard
(JMD Tronics LLC)
2. This Keyboard Makes You Type Backwards! - Yogitype
(Linus Tech Tips)
3. I used a split keyboard for 30 days
(Switch and Click)
4. For Those That Want An "Ergo"(Alice) Mechanical Keyboard
(Shoobs)
5. Best Keyboards for Programming 2021
(mayuko)
6. How Your Table and Chair Impacts Your Aiming When Gaming
(Ron Rambo Kim)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated: 08/04/2022

Views: 5457

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.