A lot of typists know pain in the wrists or in the shoulder. The reason is usually an incorrect posture in front of the computer. An ergonomic keyboard can help to take a relaxed position in front of the computer.

Hardly any tool allows people to work as efficiently as the computer and hardly any other tool forces them into such an awkward position – in the truest sense of the word. If you have an office job and type a lot on the computer, you will quickly notice a ache in your back, a burning sensation in your eyes, and a stabbing pain in your forearm or wrist.

Office work is the opposite of what man was actually made for, which is to roam at least 10,000 steps across the savannah. It is all the more important to make work on the computer as sensitive as possible for body and mind. This requires the right work material and this includes ergonomic mice and keyboards in addition to height-adjustable desks or office chairs with lumbar support.

1. Logitech Ergo K860: The premium keyboard

Logitech is one of the premium manufacturers in the field of computer peripherals. Its Ergo K860 is split, curved and bent towards the middle. According to the manufacturer, this promotes a natural hand position and ensures relaxed muscles. If you like, you can attach the supplied wrist rest to the keyboard. Nice: If you work alternately between sitting and standing, you can change the incline of the keyboard. Two feet on the underside of the joint pad make it possible.

2. Ergonomic Tastatur: Perixx Periduo-505

If you want to replace your mouse at the same time, the Perixx Periduo 505 set could be just right for you. It is a set consisting of an ergonomic mouse and keyboard. Compared to the Logitech Ergo 860, however, it is wired. Otherwise, the ergonomic keyboard impresses with similar properties to the Logitech model: Thanks to the feet on the front, a sloping tilt position is possible. The keyboard is divided for the left and right hand. Unfortunately it is not woven towards the middle.

3. Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard: The classic

Microsoft has several ergonomic keyboards on offer. The standard variant is wired, divided into left and right hands and bends upwards towards the middle. On the top edge of the keyboard are keys that users can use to adjust system settings such as volume.

But that’s not all: In Microsoft programs such as “Word” or “Excel”, the function keys occupy shortcuts to search, display emojis and more. Compared to the other ergonomic keyboards, this Microsoft model also offers the largest keys. Those who like to “dig” into the keyboard with their fingers when typing will be happier with it than with the flat keys.

4. Wireless Set: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic

Microsoft also offers a wireless set. The keyboard it contains is of course divided and woven towards the middle. What is particularly nice about the set is that it comes with an external numeric keypad in addition to an ergonomic mouse. The ergonomic keyboard is therefore more space-saving than other models.

5. Kensington Ergonomic Duo-Gel Handauflage

If you don’t want to throw away your beloved keyboard right away, you can also buy an external palm rest for the keyboard. Especially those who suffer from aching wrists can try to get the symptoms under control.

6. Handballenauflage-Set

If you have problems on both wrists, a set of two wrist rests for the keyboard and mouse might be worthwhile. The manufacturer ZMPWLQ offers such a device. Both the mouse pad and the keyboard palm rest feature memory foam that conforms to wrists. Nice: Thanks to the non-slip underside, both palm rests stay in place.

7. Ergonomic laptop stand

When you crouch in front of a laptop, pain in your neck, back and hand is not far away. Operating the touchpad for hours on end is tiring for inexperienced hands. As if that weren’t enough, it’s also difficult to properly rest your hand on or on a laptop. Working on a mobile computer should therefore remain the exception.

It is better to connect the laptop to a monitor and operate it with an external mouse and keyboard. If there is not enough space for this in the home office, a height-adjustable laptop stand is ideal. It accommodates laptops up to 17 inches in size and at a height that is more comfortable for the neck and back because the typist can change the angle at which he or she looks at the screen thanks to the height adjustability.

Wrong posture brings the pain

The main problem with normal mice and keyboards is that they force their users and their hands into an unnatural position. If those affected hold it for a longer period of time, this leads to tension, irritation and, in the worst case, to inflammation.

One of the most common extremes is tendonitis in one hand. But an unnatural posture also affects the back, neck and shoulders. An ergonomic keyboard is designed to support a natural hand and forearm position. In most cases, this is achieved by modifying the keyboards:

Ergonomic keyboards are suitable for these people

Above all, those who type a lot and use all their fingers benefit from an ergonomic keyboard. Of course, there is an adjustment period when typing. For experienced ten-finger typists, it usually doesn’t last too long. However, if you tack on the keyboard with both index fingers, you should steer clear of the ergonomic keyboard.

Two-finger typists tend to stare at the keyboard to find the letters while typing. You might find it even more difficult to find the right words on a curved keyboard. Gamers could also run into problems when they try to press key combinations that have been practiced for a long time on an ergonomic keyboard.

And even an ergonomic keyboard does not help against all ailments, because which keyboard is suitable for the respective person always depends on personal circumstances such as body size or general fitness. Especially for smaller and slim people who have shoulder pain when typing, it could be sufficient to switch to a smaller keyboard where the keys are close together.

The smaller keyboard causes the shoulder posture to change because the hands are closer together when typing. Still others find it helpful to have a gel pad under the keyboard on which they can rest their hands while typing. Unfortunately, there is no patent remedy. Those who suffer from pain when typing should try different models.

frequent typist? Tips for working on the computer

In addition to the wrong keyboard, people at the office workplace can tense up their muscles. For example, a pull in the neck can be due to the fact that the viewing angle on the monitor is unfavorable. An uncomfortable office chair causes back problems, a mouse that is too small or too large causes tendonitis. And as if that weren’t enough, sitting for long periods and not moving enough promotes all of these ailments. What you can do about it:

Sources: sueddeutsche.de, zeit.de

Note: The article was first published in July 2021.

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