Constant work in front of a computer screen or laptop using a keyboard is a professional activity of a considerable percentage of the world’s population. Many people, whose “best friends” for at least a few years have been the keys with symbols, have repeatedly noticed the inconvenience and even painful sensations delivered by a standard keyboard. That is why on the market of keyboards you can find completely unusual and wonderful-looking options, the manufacturers of which promise to maintain the health of the body in conditions of constant work at the gadget. Rating of the Best Ergonomic Keyboards For Laptop and What are ergonomic keyboards? What are their varieties? And, most importantly, are they as useful and functional as they are claimed to be? The answers to these and many other questions can be easily found in this article.
What health risks may result from using a keyboard and mouse?
With the advent and widespread use of personal computers, there was a risk of acquiring a number of specific health problems. Such diseases include myopia, dry eye syndrome, osteochondrosis, allergies and, perhaps, the most common tunnel syndrome, which has become a kind of plague in the world of IT people. It is this last syndrome that directly depends on the location of the hand on the desktop, and therefore on the mouse with the keyboard, so we will consider this issue in more detail.
In simple terms, tunnel syndrome is severe pain in the wrist and numbness in the fingers. What causes these symptoms?
The human hand has a kind of “Achilles heel” in the form of a carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow opening through which nine tendons and one median nerve pass. With constant tension of the hand, the pressure in the carpal tunnel increases, strong tendons endure it steadily, which cannot be said about the soft median nerve, which is easily damaged under such conditions. It is the damage to the median nerve that is called the tunnel syndrome.
This disease did not appear with the spread of computers, since ancient times it was considered professional by needlewomen, musicians, assemblers, draftsmen and some workers.
The acquisition of this syndrome is far from the most pleasant gift. It is extremely difficult to restore a damaged nerve, even an operation is not always able to bring relief and stop pain. It is necessary to treat the health of the hands as carefully as possible.
How to identify tunnel syndrome
It is much easier to treat any disease at an early stage. To do this, you need to know what symptoms you should pay attention to to identify it.
At the initial stage, there is aching pain, itching and tremors in the wrist, quickly ending after a short warm-up. A characteristic signal for recognizing the described syndrome is the absence of pain in the little finger. It develops rather slowly, over the course of several years, the intervals between the “sessions” of pain will decrease, and then the discomfort will stop altogether. At the onset of the final stage, stiffness and burning are added to the above-mentioned symptoms. Often, in the morning, there are attacks of burning pain, it is given to the head, chest, shoulders and cervical region. There is limited movement and problems with fine motor skills of the fingers.
You can also identify an ailment using a few simple tests:
- Test 1. It is necessary to fold your palms in the chest region, as if during prayer, and slowly lower your hands down. In the normal state of the median nerve, painful sensations should appear no earlier than a minute, the opposite situation indicates the presence of problems.
- Test 2. It differs from the first test in the position of the hands: they must be raised above the head and held in this position for at least a minute, the results are analyzed similarly to the previous test.
- Test 3. This test is suitable for proving the presence of an ailment in the later stages, you need to lift and hold the filled bottle by the neck with your index and thumb, if this action cannot be performed, the diagnosis may be disappointing.
How to avoid
How to avoid this diagnosis if the type of activity requires a relatively constant presence behind the screen and keyboard? First of all, it is necessary to observe the correct posture and the correct position of the hands, which every user knows about from school computer science lessons. Equally important is a good selection of mouse and keyboard.
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Healthy person keyboard
What inconveniences can be noted in a conventional standard keyboard, and which models were created for the convenience and health of users?
The most pronounced drawback of the standard set of keys is the presence of a numeric block the so-called NumPad. In recent years, the question of its abolition has begun to be raised due to the inconvenience it brings – NumPad is located in the place of the most comfortable, and most importantly, correct hand position. Its presence forces the hand to be held at a certain angle, and such an arrangement leads not only to problems with the hand, but also to problems in the shoulder area and neck. Looking at this issue more globally, we can say that such a position of the hand also leads to curvature of the spine and problems with posture, to impaired blood circulation, and pinching of nerves.
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What options are offered by companies from around the world?
Numeric block in front
The American company Detalux presented on the market a variant with the location of the NumPad and some more set of keys in front of the main unit, while all the keys are shortened, the total width of the unit reaches only 28 cm.
Offset numeric block
Why hasn’t NumPad been removed from keyboards yet if it’s so bad for health? The answer is simple – there are a number of professions and activities in which you cannot do without it (accountants, for example), it is used there almost more often than letter keys. What does the market for goods offer in such cases?
A left-handed accountant will clearly find it inconvenient to use the NumPad on the right side; left-hand models have been specially developed for them, one of which is R3K from Evoluent. Among other things, the R3K is equipped with an additional row of keys that perform the functions of copying, increasing and decreasing sound, waking the computer into sleep mode, and more.
- ROG Claymore by ASUS. The digital block here can be connected to both the right and left side;
- Levetron Mech5. The game version (which is why it is quite cumbersome), there is also the ability to connect the number keys to either side.
A decent model Number Slide was developed by the British company Posturite, in this case the NumPad does not switch, but pops up if necessary. Not only is it incredibly space saving on your desktop, Number Slide is a graceful and sleek addition to any décor.
Perhaps the most rational choice is keyboards in which the numeric block exists separately from the main one. It can be wired or connected via Bluetooth.
In contrast to the previous section, which described keyboard options for those who use NumPad often enough, this section will present options for those who do not use this block, who find it redundant and useless. Keyboards without a numeric keypad are called TKL Keyboard, which stands for ten key less and literally translates as “ten keys less”, they are also called 80% keyboard or 87 keys keyboard.
There are craftsmen who make keyboards that are completely suitable for a particular user and satisfy all his desires. Which keys will be on the device, in what order and on which side they will be located, design – all these parameters are chosen by the customer, literally adjusting all the criteria for himself. Thousands of people would not mind paying any amount for such a creation, but finding a master is very, very difficult.
What makes a good ergonomic keyboard?
There is one more type of healthy device that has recently gained high popularity “broken” or ergonomic keyboards. Their goal is to eliminate pain and discomfort in people, to increase their productivity, efficiency, and speed of work. How is this result achieved? It’s all about the non-standard device.
The ergonomic keyboard is divided into 2 sections, the keys in each of which are selected and positioned taking into account the anatomical features of the hands, the emphasis is on getting the fingers to be positioned in a relaxed state. The keys are also sorted by purpose and use.
- Wired. Connected via USB or PS2. You can only work with them in the immediate vicinity of the device.
- Wireless. Communicate with a computer or laptop via Bluetooth, the range is 10-20 meters.
- Broken. Divided into 2 halves: left and right, they can be moved apart to a comfortable distance, independently set the angle of inclination. Suitable for teaching touch typing techniques.
- Symmetrical. The main feature is the equal distance to all keys.
- Curved. Wavy in shape, following the curves of the arms. The tilt angle is not self-adjusting.
- Wavy with reverse slope. Such models are equipped with legs located under the lower edge, thus, the hands lie on the rise and are less stressed.
- Embossed. The keys on such models are located in certain groups in the recesses. Embossed models provide fast print speeds, but custom layouts will take some getting used to.
pros and cons of ergonomic keyboard
Everything in the world has both advantages and disadvantages. Consider these in ergonomic keyboards.
advantages of ergonomic keyboard
- Comfort and health of fingers and hands;
- Reducing the number of typos;
- Increase in print speed by 15-20%;
- The ability to adjust the keyboard for yourself;
- Great for touch typing and converting to ten-finger typing;
- The presence of additional function keys.
disadvantages of ergonomic keyboard
- We will have to go through a considerable period of adaptation, during which the fingers will get used to a new, unusual arrangement of symbols for them;
- More expensive than conventional models.
Best Ergonomic Keyboards For Laptop
Here is detail review of best ergonomic keyboards for laptop with pros and cons
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop
Perhaps not the most elegant, but one of the most comfortable models. Protection against carpal tunnel syndrome thanks to the curved rest that supports the wrist while typing. Due to a certain slope, the hands retain their usual relaxed state.
- A simple and reliable option at an affordable price.
- There is no customization option.
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Suitable for users looking for a healthier option with additional features. The ergonomics of the model lies in the softness of the palm rest and in the curvature of the keys.
- Robust construction withstands multiple movements;
- The manufacturers claim a three-year battery life;
- Possibility of self-programming of the F keys using a special application.
- Using only two AA batteries.
Kinesis Freestyle2 offers incredible comfort combined with an original design – the keyboard is completely divided into two parts, the distance between which can be independently adjusted.
- Availability of connection to Android and IOS devices;
- Availability of two variants of the model with different length of the cable connecting the halves: 23 cm and 50 cm.
- Not the nicest keys.
Adesso Tru-Form 150
A model is suitable for people whose work requires the keyboard to be equipped with a backlight due to the need to work in the dark or in poorly lit rooms. Adesso Tru-Form 150 is equipped with green, red, blue, and dimmable colors.
- The presence of additional function keys.
- Lack of soft palm rest.
Logitech Ergo K860
The Logitech Ergo K860 is considered the best among its counterparts today. “Logitech” means “split curved keyboard”. Logitech Ergo K860 really corresponds to this concept: the model does not lie flat on the surface, it has a raised front and back, which provides maximum comfort when typing.
- The presence of a three-layer cushion for the wrist, during the work with which the load on the median nerve and tendons is reduced;
- In addition to the fact that the Logitech Ergo K860 is wireless, it is also multi-platform, that is, using the Bluetooth function, you can use it on three devices simultaneously.
- Not found.
Matias ergo pro
The highlights of this variant are: division into two separate parts and a pleasant loud mechanical sound obtained when pressing the keys. Ergonomics also lies in the comfortable soft rest under the wrist. That is, Matias Ergo Pro is an ideal option for those wishing to purchase a model that will combine the properties of ergonomics and mechanical properties.
- Consistently high quality.
- High price.
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Interesting features of Surface Ergonomic Keyboard are exceptional thinness – only 3.5 cm high, long service life – up to 10 million clicks with a standard 5 million, 12 months of battery life. Ergonomics is reflected in a natural bend and tilt, a palm rest that helps release tension from the wrists and elbows, and a precise keyboard mechanism.
- Wireless (connection via USB or Bluetooth);
- Stylish modern design suitable for any interior;
- Using AAA batteries.
- Not found.
Choosing a quality, durable, ergonomic keyboard is not easy. It is worth approaching it with all responsibility because the comfort and safety of working at a computer will depend on the success of this choice. The above rating about Best Ergonomic Keyboards For Laptop will help facilitate the process of finding the right option at the right price. Happy and easy selection!