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Wrist Deviation 101

Wrist Deviation 101

Eliminating deviation of the wrist is the inspiration for lots of attempts to design ‘ergonomic’ keyboards. This can result in simply transferring the problem to another area. There is only one ‘ergonomic’ design that is also ‘orthopedically neutral’ and eliminates the ulnar deviation by design.

Most of us learned to type on a standard, flat keyboard. The keys are all in nice, neat rows. Unfortunately, that means we have to twist and turn our hands to line them up with the keys in order to use the keyboard. Learning to use this kind of keyboard is very much like learning to smoke. It was uncomfortable the first time you tried it, but you gradually became used to it over time (and it is still bad for you even once you do get used to it).

If you hold your wrists straight, then move your hand so that the little finger moves out and (pretend) back toward the elbows. This is called ‘ulnar deviation’ (you don't have to remember the terms to understand what's happening).

Holding your wrist in any position other than straight causes what physiologists call ‘static muscle loading’, or what you and I might call ‘constant tension’. Side effects of this include increased muscular energy expenditure, reduced muscular waste removal, which leads to eventual discomfort or injury.