FAQs > Organizing your environment ergonomically > I am considering purchasing an alternative ergonomics keyboard, what do I need to know?

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An alternative keyboard can help keep your wrists straight and in neutral posture.  You may find that you use awkward or non-neutral work postures when working on a traditional keyboard such as rotating your forearms, bending your hands outward or upward.    The different designs of alternative keyboards attempt to change posture while keying, specifically:

  • Split keyboards
  • Tented keyboards
  • Built-in wrist or palm rests

Alternative keyboards promote neutral wrist posture but must be understood and used correctly to assist with reduction of discomfort or injury.

 If you are considering the use of an alternative keyboard here are some tips you may want to consider:

  1. Try out the keyboard, ask if it is possible to use a “loaner” for a week 
  2. Determine if the keyboard is compatible with hardware, software, and other input devices that you are using
  3. Some alternative keyboards eliminate or reconfigure numeric keypads and specialized keys, see if this configuration works for you
  4. Make sure that you have done a complete work area review once you have made any changes

And remember, take breaks, change your posture, and alternate activities to those that do not include keying or mousing!

Last updated on May 1, 2010 by Ellen Meyer