Why Do You Need to Buy an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse?
For many of us, typing on a keyboard and using a mouse are integral parts of our day-to-day lives. Yet, despite the frequency of use, we often use suboptimal equipment without a second thought. In doing so, we are setting ourselves up for a variety of ailments, ranging from poor posture to headaches to chronic musculoskeletal pain. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. By switching to ergonomic products, just about anyone can create a comfortable computer setup that promotes good health.
What Are Ergonomic Keyboards and Mice?
Ergonomic keyboards and mice are designed to minimize the muscle strain, fatigue, and discomfort caused by their conventional counterparts. While there’s no one-size-fits-all model for ergonomic products, there are certain design elements that have proven to be particularly effective.
For ergonomic keyboards, this means saying goodbye to straight lines. Some ergonomic keyboards, known as split keyboards, literally split the key rows right down the middle. This allows users to position each side of the keyboard at the most natural angle for their individual body type. Other ergonomic keyboards, known as angled keyboards, reposition the keys on a curve, which opens the shoulders and allows for a more natural wrist position. Most ergonomic keyboards also have wrist rests, extra space between the keys, and contoured keycaps that cradle the fingers.
Similarly, ergonomic mice use curves and angles to encourage better posture, arm movements, and wrist placement. Ergonomic mice come in a variety of styles, ranging from vertical mice, which stand upright with the buttons on the side, to contoured mice, which are shaped like a human hand. Special ergonomic mice are also available for gaming and esports, including Acer’s Nitro Gaming Mouse III and the Predator Cestus series.
Who Should Buy an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse?
Ergonomic products are typically recommended for people who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders, arthritis, or repetitive strain injuries like tendonitis and carpel tunnel syndrome. That said, anyone who feels pain or muscle fatigue in their hands, wrists, forearms, or back when using a computer would most likely benefit from switching to an ergonomic setup. Ergonomic equipment is also useful for people with broad shoulders who find themselves hunched over conventional workstations. And finally, ergonomic keyboards and mice are a great option for anyone who is trying to prevent future injuries from occurring, even if they are currently pain free.
Things to Consider When Buying an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse
Here are some features to keep in mind when shopping for an ergonomic keyboard:
Keyboard layout is the most important element of an ergonomic setup. Split keyboards are adjustable, customizable, and ideal for people with larger frames. However, they can be difficult to get used to. Angled keyboards are slightly less versatile, but still offer comfort without the learning curve.
Ergonomic keyboards should ideally have a flat or negative slope, ensuring that your wrists are parallel to the keys. Try to avoid the positive slope present in many conventional keyboards, where each row of keys is taller than the last.
A cushioned wrist rest helps to keep your wrists elevated without putting undue stress on your muscles. This provides comfort and helps prevent strain-related injuries.
Ergonomic keyboards are sometimes raised, or tented, in the middle, creating a more natural angle for your hands. This allows your fingers to rest on the keys, which can then be pressed down with very little effort.
Reaching for the number pad on a standard keyboard can cause outward shoulder rotation and strain. Some ergonomic keyboards have small number pads, while others remove the number pad altogether.
Finding the right ergonomic mouse is not always as straightforward as picking a keyboard. This is primarily because there are so many design options to choose from, each offering different benefits. While it may take some trial and error to find the perfect mouse, there are still some things you can look out for during the process. These include grip, button placement, connectivity, shape, and ease of use. Also, if you’re a lefty, make sure to select a mouse that will work for either hand. Not sure where to start? Acer’s Macaron Vero Mouse has a slim design, silent scrolling wheel, and wireless connectivity, making it an excellent option for anyone who’s ready to switch to an ergonomic experience.
About Lisa Shettle: Lisa is a writer, editor, and content product manager with over 15 years of experience. She has a special interest in travel and tech writing, marketing, and AI. She is based in the United States.