Should You Use a Left Handed Keyboard?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Learn why everyone may benefit from a left handed keyboard.
If you are constantly using your keyboard day in and day out for hours on end, you may want to consider using a left handed keyboard. Originally designed for the left handed, all users are finding that left handed keyboards can benefit anyone. If you have moderate to heavy keyboarding tasks on a daily basis consider making the switch. . The layout changes in these keyboards are good ergonomic designs for almost everyone who uses a keyboard.
The major change in the layout of a left handed keyboard is the placement of the numeric keypad. Traditionally the numeric keypad’s right side placement was very effective for most users. This is because originally keyboards were used mainly for entering numeric data. Decades later the numeric keypad is not as important for most users.
You’ll find left handed keyboards with the numeric keypad on the left side. This allows the user whether left or right handed to place the mouse closer to the most used section of their keyboard. This closer placement reduces the right hand movement of reaching and moving in awkward positions while using the mouse.
Some left handed keyboards have the numeric keypad omitted. Instead a touchpad is placed on the right side. The touchpad eliminates the need for a mouse. Replacing your mouse with a touchpad provides you with all mouse functions right on your keyboard. This placement eliminates constant movement between keyboard and mouse, thus reducing stress.
As you consider making the switch to a left handed keyboard, think about the functions of your keyboard that you use most often. For example, if you do use the numeric keypad a considerable amount, choose the left side placement. If you’re comfortable without the numeric keypad, choose a touch pad instead.
As with any ergonomic keyboard the goal is to reduce the amount of non-neutral positioning of your forearms, your wrists and your hands. Maintaining a the neutral position of having your wrists straight and in-line with your forearms as you use your keyboard prevents internal contact stress on blood vessels, tendons, and nerves.
Repeated internal contact stress can cause numbness or tingling in the fingers, pain in the wrists and more. Even though the movements of using your keyboard may seem simple, these repetitive motions can cause chronic conditions over time. Replacing your current keyboard with a left handed keyboard is a simple solution that can help prevent long-term issues.