For those who work at a desk job, or their career is centered around computer technology, they probably spend a lot of time using a keyboard. For employees who type a lot as part of their job, it’s important to recognize the negative effects that hours of typing can have on a person’s body.
One possible negative effect is an increased risk of developing workplace injuries. There have been several injuries linked to arm overuse, which can result in pain, swelling and numbing. Repetitive strain injuries, or RSIs, are also possible. These include injuries like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. More than 45% of carpal tunnel syndrome cases are work related.
You should also be aware of ways to help prevent these and other damaging effects of lots of typing, one of which is providing ergonomic keyboards for your employees.
How your employees would benefit from ergonomic keyboards
Ergonomics is the study of workplace efficiency, so it makes sense that there is equipment designed to make extended periods of typing as efficient and comfortable as possible.
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to alleviate the pain and discomfort that can come from typing for hours at a time. They are set up in a way that allows the hands and wrists to be in a natural position to avoid muscle strain and fatigue. This is done by arranging the keys in two split halves down the middle, as opposed to straight across the surface. They are essentially in a “V” formation so that the typist’s hands are at a slight angle.
There are plenty of benefits to switching over to an ergonomic keyboard, such as:
- More room to rest forearms.
- Decreased risk of RSIs.
- Longer intervals of typing without discomfort.
- Increased typing speed.
3 types of common ergonomic keyboards
However, not all ergonomic keyboards are the same. There are actually several different options to choose from. The three most common types are:
- Contoured — This keyboard has a curved pattern with a peak in the center. This puts each section of the keys shoulder width apart. The wave ensures that the hand directly lines up with the wrist, reducing the movement of the arms and wrists while working.
- Split — As the name suggests, a split keyboard separates the keys into at least two sections, sometimes even physically with two separate boards. The keys are angled away from each other to properly keep space between the hands and align the wrists.
- Angled — An angled keyboard takes the two halves of the keys and breaks them up by raising the center to a point, like an “A.” This helps the natural hand resting position by keeping the pinkies lower than the index fingers.
Regardless of the type of ergonomic keyboard you choose, there is one test to be sure you get the most benefit: With your fingers placed on the keys, your wrist should be in neutral. Neutral wrist means you’ve created a straight line from your forearm to your fingers. Neutral position is the safest position!
Work-Fit can keep your employees happy and healthy
Switching your employees over to ergonomic keyboards is just one of the many ways that you can look out for their health and well-being. If you’re interested in finding more ways, contact our team today for more information about our services and to find out more about all the benefits Work-Fit can bring to your workplace.