One of the first steps people take when diagnosed with a RSI such as carpal tunnel syndrome, is to switch to an ergonomic keyboard. Here are some ergonomic keyboard that I have and continue to use and recommend.
If you are on a very tight budget, look no further than this ergonomic keyboard. The Kensington Comfort Type USB Keyboard is a low cost ergonomic keyboard that I use. It has angled keys to force a comfortable, relaxed wrist position and light action for easy touch typing. It is easier to switching to than the other keyboard I use…
My main ergonomic keyboard: The Kinesis Freestyle solo is a low cost split ergonomic split keyboard that helps prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It allows you to detach each side and position it independently, maximizing flexibility for different body shapes. Everyone is built slightly different, no one keyboard can accommodate everyone. I also purchased their special V-Lifter to position the keyboard in a more neutral position. It allows you to add two levels of vertical splay to this keyboard.
Another option to consider is remapping your keyboard to the DVORAK keyboard standard which may be easier on your hands or at least offer a short-term fix with a change in keyboarding strokes.
Try to visit a store to test out more expensive keyboards. A lot of their ergonomics has to do with how far apart your hands are in a neutral position and how big your hands are.
I have two ergonomic keyboards and switch between them during the day. This prevents my hands from getting stuck in one position for too long.
Positioning a keyboard
Position the keyboard so that the spacebar or the ‘b’ key is centered directly in front of you. This is without main area you’ll be typing in, so it needs to be as ergonomic as possible. Keep your pointing device has close to the keyboard as possible, to minimize awkward movement. I like the Kinesis Freestyle Solo keyboard because it does not have a numeric keypad on the right side. Additional input device suggestions:
- Position the keyboard directly in front of you. Place pointing device directly to the side of it
- Keyboard and pointing device should be slightly below elbow’s level
- Adjust the keyboard’s placement so you do not need to reach forward to type comfortably
- Give the keyboard a slight negative slope, approximately 15 degrees
- Keep wrist in a neutral position and do not rest them on a wrist rest
Macros are key combinations that cause a predefined sequence of keys or words to be entered with a single keystroke. Use a program to create a hotkey combination that performs a variety of tasks or types a bunch of words with just one keystroke. AutoHotKey is a good bet for Windows. The less you type, the better. Also consider voice recognition software.