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Why & How to choose an ergonomic keyboard

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Why should I use an ergonomic keyboard?

More and more workers are sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time. Sitting in a fairly static position like that puts untold amounts of strain on your neck, shoulders, back, eyes, and even hands and wrists. Therefore, it's important to consider good ergonomic posture and practices, such as taking intentional stretch breaks and not only changing positions, but also tasks as you can. One of the best things you can do is buy yourself an ergonomic keyboard.

Benefits of an ergonomic keyboard

  • They are purposeful- designers know the strain you suffer form a poorly made, run of the mill keyboard. As such, they tailor these keyboards to meet your specific needs. Many ergonomic keyboards have a palm/wrist rest and are split into a V-shape, and some offer detachable sections. The end goal is to reduce stress on the fingers and wrists by keeping your hands in their natural posture instead of cramped together.
  • They can be customized- you might want a bigger keyboard, a smaller one, or even a left-handed option. You can even get a wireless keyboard to avoid cord issues. These days, you can get almost anything you want.

So, how do I pick the best one for me?

  1. Consider your needs and understand the features of the ergonomic keyboards that are out there. If you have limited space, you might want a mini keyboard. Many right-handed typists still use a left-handed keyboard because it allows them to pull the mouse in closer since the numeric key pad is on the left side. Again, good ergonomic posture is key.
  2. Consider what kind of port your computer needs: USB port or PS/2 port (aka a round port) and choose a compatible keyboard. (Tip: PS/2 ports are found mainly in older-model computers.)
  3. Think about whether you want a wireless keyboard to avoid the hassle of cables, a multimedia keyboard to take advantage of programmable keys and shortcuts to multimedia applications, or a Bluetooth wireless multimedia keyboard if you have a Bluetooth-enabled computer. Again, it's important to know both your preferences/needs, as well as what is compatible with your computer.
  4. Ask around and compare notes. Check with your friends and coworkers and see what they like and don't like.
  5. Try it out. Order a couple from Ergonomics Made Easy and pick the one you like best and then send back the others. See store policy for returns.