Ergonomic keyboards is a keyboard designed to reduce muscular strain and prevent related problems such as Repetitive Strain Injury and Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Over the years, ergonomic keyboard design has seen a wide range of weird and wacky iterations, some more successful than others. But do they really work?
If you or your fellow employees do a lot of typing, then it may make a lot of sense to test out some ergonomic keyboards. Here’s what we think…
The advantages of ergonomic keyboards
In today’s business environment, most, if not all, business is done on a computer. If one of your employees needs to take some time off due to a nasty bout of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, your business’s productivity can take a big hit.
Investing in a few ergonomic keyboards is a relatively low cost way to mitigate any loss in productivity. You might even see an uplift in productivity and typing speed if your employees are more comfortable when they type!
Not so fast! The downsides of ergonomic keyboards
Like standing desks, there are a number of pitfalls when it comes to ergonomic keyboards. First of all, their ability to reduce muscular strain issues has been refuted. In a study undertaken by the University of Pittsburgh, the participants who used an ergonomic keyboard experience no pain relief compared to when using a normal keyboard!
There’s also the question of efficiency. When switching to an ergonomic keyboard, experienced typists need to switch to a new keyboard layout and hand position which results in slower typing and potentially a detrimental effect to their workflow.
They’re also pretty expensive, with costs ranging from £30 to £100. A lot to spend on a keyboard, particularly if you’re buying one for the whole office!
So what’s the lowdown?
When it comes down to it, there’s no catch-all solution to reducing typing related muscular strain, aside from giving your employees a little extra time to recover. While some users have reported that using an ergonomic keyboard reduced their typing associated pain, the jury is still out.
However, improving the ergonomics of your workplace is a worthwhile area to pursue. There are a number of benefits for your business by doing so.
We recommend looking into a few other proven ways to improve the ergonomics of your workplace before investing in some ergonomic keyboards. Start with improving your employee’s working position by investing in some ergonomically designed furniture and making the most of the DSE assessments.
Find out about our consultative office supplies service.