Typing for hours on end each day on a typical flat keyboard has a negative effect on your shoulders and wrists. Ergonomic keyboards are designed to prevent and relieve this pain if you make the right choice. For that, you need to recognize the ideal typing position so you can choose the most suitable keyboard.
The ideal typing position
The ideal typing position allows all joints involved to remain in a neutral position. When typing on regular keyboards, your joints deviate from the neutral position, resulting in discomfort or pain.
Finding the ideal typing position
First, sit straight with your arms at your sides. Ensure your wrists are straight and your elbows are at your sides, and then raise your lower arms till they are parallel to the floor, bending only at the elbows. Your palms should be facing inwards rather than facing the floor when using a regular keyboard. Next, try rotating your forearms inwards to the conventional typing position – you will feel tension load up in your forearms. Rotate them back to the previous position – the tension should release, confirming this as the ideal typing position. You can also minimize uneven wear on your shoulders by keeping your elbows directly below your shoulders.
Choosing the ideal keyboard
Once you know the ideal typing position, selecting the most appropriate ergonomic keyboard should not be a problem. Vertical keyboards are certainly the best in terms of allowing you to type in the neutral position. These keyboards have two vertical keying modules that are separated, allowing each hand to type in the handshake position. Alternatively, you could opt for the tented keyboards that come with raised keying modules without being fully vertical, if you cannot quite get used to the vertical position.
Other keyboard options
There are other keyboard variations, such as those with a bump in the middle and a space between the left and right keying module. However, while they alleviate many wrist problems associated with typing, they also tend to point your hands inwards, spreading your elbows to the sides. This increases the stress on your shoulders. Although a vertical or tented keyboard looks and feels weird at first, you will soon realize that it is one of the best and true ergonomic keyboards available. It will be a worthwhile investment when reducing and eliminating computer-related pain and discomfort.