Healthy people, healthy planet

Healthy Computing: Split Keyboard

Do you reach forward and bend your wrists so that you can type at the
keyboard? Sometimes we have to reach our arms around our chest, breasts or
abdomen in order to type, especially if pregnant. This reaching forward or
around often increases tension in your neck and shoulders and may result
in uncomfortable sensations down your arms. Avoid bending your wrists and
allow your arms to more naturally hang at your sides when you use a SPLIT
KEYBOARD.

How to use a SPLIT KEYBOARD:

If you find that you bend your wrists to the side or are reaching forward
with your arms, replace your keyboard with one that is split with the
10-keypad imbedded in the keyboard. A narrow, split keyboard will help
you maintain your health.

  • The split feature helps reduce wrist (carpal tunnel) irritation by
    allowing straight (neutral) wrists when typing.

  • The narrow feature reduces unnecessary arm, shoulder, and neck tension
    by allowing placement of the pointing device in the center or closer to
    the side.

Test ride split keyboards without attached number pads and replace normal
or ergonomic wide keyboards. (Studies show that the wider, ergonomic
keyboards contribute significantly to arm and shoulder tension when
mousing*.) Check out the following:

Goldtouch Adjustable keyboard

MAXIM adjustable ergonomic keyboard

Ergomagic keyboard

KBPC E Keyboard

Regardless whether you replace your normal keyboard with a narrower split
keyboard, continue to take micro-breaks every minute and larger movement
breaks every 30 minutes.

* Harvey; R. & Peper, E. (1997). Surface electromyography and mouse
position use. Ergonomics. 40 (8), 781-789.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for
personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing
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Avatar Written by Erik Peper PhD