|Purpose:||To use different muscles during keying.
To reduce awkward postures of the arms or hands during keying. The main target postures are deviation (sideways bending at the wrist) or pronation (working with palms facing the floor).
|Possible Drawbacks or Misuse:||Some users find it difficult to adapt to new keyboard shapes alternatives. Error rates sometimes increase and speed slows. Most typists eventually return to their original accuracy and speed.
Often, a wrist/palm rest needs to be reshaped to fit an unusual horizontal or vertical angle of the keyboard. Inexpensive raw-foam wrist rests are a good solution because they can be cut. Many of the newer gel rests can be bent to fit a split keyboard.
Some alternative keyboards need additional arm support, because the keyboard is tented or raised higher in the center and requires higher hand positions than usual.
|General End-User Instructions:||Get used to alternative devices slowly. If discomfort develops, it may be due to the new design. Evaluate the situation carefully.
Some alternative keyboards are adjustable in the amount of side to side split, and central tenting. If a user has difficulty adapting they can start with very minimal adjustments and then can increase the split and tenting angles until their wrists and arms are comfortably aligned.
Curved Keys (above)
Split Keys (above)
|For keyboards there are a number of choices on the market including those with simple changes to the rows of keys, changes to the actual key order or arrangement, split and/or angled keyboards.
Other combinations and alternatives include:
Ergo Light: Traditional rectangular layout with minor changes to the rows of keys. Keys can be arranged in a curved shape i.e. 6 degree angle, or aligned in an inverted chevron shape to align with natural finger extensions.