Whilst sitting at the home or office desk, maintaining a degree of comfort should be placed as paramount in importance. With so much time a day spent sitting sedately at a desk, your health and productivity are under constant risk. A great way to bring this added well-being to your working environment is through ergonomic peripherals. Investing in an ergonomic keyboard can prevent office-related injuries, increase productivity and even make you a little happier.
What is an ergonomic keyboard?
Ergonomic keyboards are peripherals that place comfort, functionality and user-friendliness as central concepts to their design.
Imperatively, an ergonomic keyboard will place specialised solutions in place to enhance the quality of interaction between user and keyboard. Specifically, ergonomic keyboards will look to reduce the stresses and strains of operating at a workstation, thus minimising the risk for potential injury to conditions such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
Why are ergonomics important?
Countless evidence can be found documenting the advantages of using ergonomic peripherals, included in which is a survey conducted by Microsoft in 2013 (in association with Kelton). The average worker spends around 8 hours a day on their PC (6 at work, 2 at home). Of those workers, almost 9 out of 10 (89%) find some degree of discomfort whilst at work. This eventually translates to work-related injuries, of which the most common are associated with a poorly set up desk area:
- 43% neck
- 40% shoulders
- 28% upper back
- 25% wrists
- 16% hands
Not only do ergonomics aid in minimising work-related injuries such as RSI then, but they can also improve overall health and well-being. Microsoft’s survey also outlined the positive impact a comfortable workstation can have on both the individual and business as a whole.
46% of workers felt that discomfort at work meant they were unable to focus on their jobs, whilst 43% said they felt like they weren’t doing their best. Were they supplied with the tools for more comfort on the job, and 45% said they would complete tasks faster and 52% would have more energy.
So why do ergonomics matter? A healthier and happier workforce married with greater productivity. And the science is there to support it.
Advantages to ergonomic keyboards
Ergonomic keyboards generally come in one of two overarching designs. The most prominent of which is probably the split keyboard. Featuring a distinct gap dividing the two halves, the split keyboard features a number of ergonomic solutions designed to significantly decrease the chance of work-related injuries. The natural arc of the keyboard accounts for the differing lengths to your fingers, producing a more natural key layout for typing. A slight gable angle aligns your arms, wrists and hands better for comfort when typing. Similarly, a palm rest and lift prevents your wrists from dropping when typing, reducing pressure.
Comfort, as a concept, is a matter of perception. For those of us who don’t find a split keyboard enhances our working environment, the comfort curve is on hand.
Still harbouring some of the ergonomic benefits of the split keyboard, curved creations maintain the familiar look and feel we associate with standard straight keyboards. The angle of the keyboard’s curve is reduced, and the separation favoured in split keyboards is replaced by a continuous arc of keys. Whilst a curved keyboard will not provide all of the health benefits of a split keyboard, it will still ensure a more comforting experience than a standard straight keyboard.
Ergonomic keyboards will also have increased levels of functionality over your standard products. Identifying the commands you undertake the most whilst sat at your desk, ergonomic keyboards will incorporate handy shortcut keys. Examples of such include search buttons and media keys, increasing your efficiency whilst working.
Ergonomic Keyboards at Ebuyer.com