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Tell me about the ergonomics of typing...

Old 08-26-02, 11:19 PM
  #1  
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Tell me about the ergonomics of typing...

Well?

Okay here's my situation... I've been using computers for probably about... 8 or 9 or 10 years. I cannot remember that far back... anyways... I type a lot. I though for a while I had carpal tunnel syndrome... I finally went to a doctor, but... found out I more likely have tendinitious (spelling?) which I guess isn't as bad? but still hurts pretty badly... I've got currently four desktops and a laptop... I only use three desktops and the laptop. The keyboards, the mouse at each computer are all at different heights... I move from computer to computer...

The pain starts getting worse when I start typing or using the mouse... this keyboard for instance is located about the center of my chest... my arms rest above the keyboard... same with the mouse... I have another computer/laptop that is higher than that... the other computer the keyboard is about two inches lower, but I rarely use that computer for typing... it just happens to be where the keyboard tray is...

here's what I'm doing,
-taking medicine... high dosage of ibprofen...
-sometimes wearing my wrist braces
-thinking about a natural keyboard.


any good suggestions? for height of the keyboard/mouse? thanks!
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Old 08-27-02, 07:57 AM
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Why not get a KVM switch for all of your computers? That way you could just use keyboard shortcuts to switch between devices. I had a laptop and a desktop and I used my natural keyboard and optical mouse for each. The keyboard shortcut was ctrl-shift-alt-# (# was # of device...1, 2, 3, or 4), making it very easy to switch devices. This way you can stick with your favorite/most comfortable keyboard and mouse. I highly recommend the natural keyboard (the one with the split in the middle. It takes some people an hour or so to get used to, but requires very little hand or arm movement and even has a wrist rest. You could also look into the gel pads. I bought a mouse pad and a keyboard pad for my wife and she has not had any pains in her wrists since. As to the height, I always type with my keyboard on my lap at work (I do have my feet up, so it makes it a little more comfortable ) but I've found it great. Try it at different heights. Whatever feels most comfortable to you is the best height.
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Old 08-27-02, 08:45 AM
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I would suggest getting a Microsoft Natural Keyboard AND using a Microsoft Optical Trackball.

I'm suggesting Microsoft because they're the best quality and best "feel" to me, in my opinion, of course.

I used to get these major pains in my right hand from using a mouse. First I switched to a optical mouse, which is lighter, but it still hurt my wrist from the constant movement. Now I'm using the microsoft trackball (black with the ball around the thumb region) and it is seriously a life saver! no more pains!

Now, I wish natural keyboards were portable... I HATE typing on a keyboard laptop all the time.
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Old 08-27-02, 05:20 PM
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you want to keep both wrists in a neutral position. the height of the keyboard should be slightly above your navel. stop and stretch your wrists every 30-60 minutes.
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Old 08-27-02, 06:53 PM
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Yeah I was thinking about getting a natural myself, but what happens when you go to work/school and you have to use the "normal" keyboards again. It has to be a pain switching back and forth.
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Old 08-28-02, 12:41 AM
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Originally posted by Lampei
Why not get a KVM switch for all of your computers? That way you could just use keyboard shortcuts to switch between devices. I had a laptop and a desktop and I used my natural keyboard and optical mouse for each. The keyboard shortcut was ctrl-shift-alt-# (# was # of device...1, 2, 3, or 4), making it very easy to switch devices. This way you can stick with your favorite/most comfortable keyboard and mouse. I highly recommend the natural keyboard (the one with the split in the middle. It takes some people an hour or so to get used to, but requires very little hand or arm movement and even has a wrist rest. You could also look into the gel pads. I bought a mouse pad and a keyboard pad for my wife and she has not had any pains in her wrists since. As to the height, I always type with my keyboard on my lap at work (I do have my feet up, so it makes it a little more comfortable ) but I've found it great. Try it at different heights. Whatever feels most comfortable to you is the best height.
just in the process of getting one! (KVM switch) picking it up from my cousin storage tomorrow..

as for the natural keyboard, I'm looking at the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro. NOw hopefully I'll be able to find one at a store... they seem to be hard to find locally... but I've only tried general superstores like compusa, best buy, etc.
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Old 08-28-02, 12:41 AM
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thanks for everyone's suggestions... hopefully I'll get rid of this problem soon.
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Old 08-28-02, 08:35 AM
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I definately subscribe to the keyboard on the lap idea. Your elbows should be near 90 degrees and your wrists as straight as possible. Unless you use the trick about switching between computers using the same keyboard, they should all be at the same height.

I've actually seen something similar to the split keyboard idea, except each half was completely seperate and strapped to each wrist. This way you don't have to hold your wrists near your center, but out to the side where they are completely straight. I don't know where you'd find one of those. Good luck.
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Old 08-28-02, 08:43 AM
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Wouldn't hurt to get an electric vibrating massager too. Would really get the blood pumping through there. My guess is pain in joints is from a constant stress which causes a low blood flow.
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Old 08-28-02, 09:53 AM
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Are we still talking about keyboards?
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Old 08-28-02, 09:47 PM
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I began to have pain in my wrists and hands while using my computer and bought a MS Natural Pro keyboard. I type much more comfortably now(in fact I think my typing speed has increased). I really don't find it difficult to type on a normal keyboard after using my MS Pro...it's not like the keys are laid out differently, the only real difference is that your wrists are in a more natural position.

I'd reccomend buying an OEM version of the MS Natural Pro. I've seen retail versions at Best Buy and CompUSA going for $70, but I paid $35 for my OEM(at a local computer store). The Pro also has very useful shortcut keys(I use the My Computer button constantly) and a 2 port USB hub. Highly reccomended.
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