Friday, June 25, 2010

Super Ergonomical

Recently, I've come across something which I suppose is inevitable for people who use computers as much as I do.  Wrist and arm pains. Now, I don't know if this is from using a computer too much, something I've been doing for years; though I feel it has a lot more to do with using a laptop, and in particular, using it on a kitchen table. Which is just too high, very un-ergonomical. Knowing a few lecturers and post-grads how have been afflicted with dreaded carpel tunnel has spurred me into looking at ways to fix this.

Of course the obvious solution would be to stop using the computer so much. Which is certainly something I should consider, though for the moment not really an option. Instead I've been checking out ergonomic keyboards and mice. A standard keyboard and mouse tends to keep the hand and forearm facing the desk. As it turns out, holding your arm like this and scissoring your fingers on a keyboard is quite unhealthy. So ergonomic keyboards and mice attempt to remedy this by forcing the hands into something more resembling a hand shake posture.

My first look found some keyboards who's shape can only be described as bizarre, though I wasn't completely unfamiliar with the design. My manager in work uses a keyboard quite like this. Looking around online, the reviews appear to be overwhelmingly positive. More than once I browsed reviews along the lines of "5 stars, this keyboard changed my life." Needless to say, such a life changing typing experience does not come cheap. Keyboards in this style seem to be $300 minimum. I think I'll go with something more affordable.

The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 7000 is where I ended up. The kind of long winded name I expect to see on components made from space age materials. This keyboard however looks slightly more normal. Though it is a little odd. While not apparent in the photos, the keyboard is split in the middle, slanting the keys to the left and the right. It's also raised at the front angling the keys away from the user. The mouse is raised up on it's side, leaving you to grip it like a handshake. This all sounds crazy, though speaking to people who've already taken the plunge and bought this keyboard, it makes for a fantastic typing experience. While fantastic isn't quite at life changing levels, this package is priced quite a bit lower than the aforementioned life changing keyboard. Upwards of €50 for a desktop isn't exactly cheap, I feel this one may be worth it to avoid arm surgery in future.

On the subject of looking after oneself, I've also been investigating the Hundred Push Up course. But more on that another time.

1 comment:

  1. :o I went to doctor about this, see what could be done, bitch told me it's my fault for picking the career im in :(