Are ergonomic keyboards worth it?

SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back.Registered User regular
My (standard, functional, unimpressive) keyboard is starting to crap out, so I'm in the market. I'm not really interested in gaming keyboards or mechanical keyboards or the like, but I was curious if people found ergonomic keyboards to be worth it or not? I don't have RSI or anything (yet), but I use the keyboard a lot so I'd like to stay a step ahead. I've read conflicting reports on whether they help or make you twist your wrists in different ways and hold your arms out further from your body causing fatigue, and there seems to be a lot of noise and very little definitive information. As a note I'm talking about 'normal' ergo keyboards like Microsoft's, not the super fancy and expensive Kinesis splits or the bowled out ones.

Worth it or just stick with the usual?

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Posts

  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    I use one at work and it's a godsend for keeping my wrists straight while I type.

    But, yeah? This is a pretty personal thing that depends on person to person.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    They can definitely help. Both I and a coworker have had issues with wrist pain that were largely solved or mitigated with an ergo-board. I think they have a relatively minor impact, but if you figure it prevents that little bit of wrist abuse that brings your wrists from "in pain" to "not pain," they're very worth it.

  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    When I was doing heavy amounts of typing, I found the MS ergo keyboard to be a huge help.

    And for what it's worth, a relative of mine owns a medical transcription company and most of her employees type daily with the Microsoft ergo keyboards.

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  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    I use one at work (use a laptop at home) and I love it. I noticed a reduction in pain and tired wrists after a couple weeks and it's been so much better. I use the Microsoft Ergonomic Natural Keyboard 4000. I think I paid $30-35 for it. It's got convex key layout, plus split design and reverse angle.

    microsoft_natural_keyboard_4000b.jpg?w=500

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  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
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  • SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    Good advice, good deal, I'll pick one up. Thanks all!

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  • baronfelbaronfel Registered User regular
    I was issued one of those MS keyboards at work, and after a short introductory period had to get one for my personal machine. They're just that good. Well, that and they mess up your typing on standard keyboards. Your fingers get used to the elongated positions and miss on normal layouts.

  • grouch993grouch993 Registered User regular
    I was having wrist pains and dropping things back in 1997. Switched to a Kinesis contoured keyboard and a logitech trackball. Same set up at home and work.

    Pain cleared up and I haven't had issues since. Still using the same configuration now.

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  • SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    So I picked up the ergonomic 4000 and while I think I'll like it (having the riser in front is nice) once I get used to it, the spacebar is terrible. The left side is smooth as butter while the right side has way more resistance and thunks loudly on every press, and since I use the right side exclusively this is rather annoying. Seems to be a common problem, dunno why they didn't just split the bar, but I'll try some of the solutions like twisting the metal bar.

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