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 Healthy Computing: Split Keyboard 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by . View all columns in series
Do you reach forward and bend your wrists so that you can type at the keyboard? Sometimes we have to reach our arms around our chest, breasts or abdomen in order to type, especially if pregnant. This reaching forward or around often increases tension in your neck and shoulders and may result in uncomfortable sensations down your arms. Avoid bending your wrists and allow your arms to more naturally hang at your sides when you use a SPLIT KEYBOARD.

How to use a SPLIT KEYBOARD:

If you find that you bend your wrists to the side or are reaching forward with your arms, replace your keyboard with one that is split with the 10-keypad imbedded in the keyboard. A narrow, split keyboard will help you maintain your health.

  • The split feature helps reduce wrist (carpal tunnel) irritation by allowing straight (neutral) wrists when typing.
  • The narrow feature reduces unnecessary arm, shoulder, and neck tension by allowing placement of the pointing device in the center or closer to the side.

Test ride split keyboards without attached number pads and replace normal or ergonomic wide keyboards. (Studies show that the wider, ergonomic keyboards contribute significantly to arm and shoulder tension when mousing*.) Check out the following:
Goldtouch Adjustable keyboard
MAXIM adjustable ergonomic keyboard
Ergomagic keyboard
KBPC E Keyboard

Regardless whether you replace your normal keyboard with a narrower split keyboard, continue to take micro-breaks every minute and larger movement breaks every 30 minutes.

* Harvey; R. & Peper, E. (1997). Surface electromyography and mouse position use. Ergonomics. 40 (8), 781-789.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders

      
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 About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco......moreErik Peper PhD
 
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