The Ergonomic Benefits of Using Mechanical Keyboards at Work

April 17, 2024

Utilizing a mechanical keyboard in your workplace can be one of the best choices due to an important factor---ergonomics. An ergonomic mechanical keyboard is designed to align with the natural position and typing motion of your hands, thus relieving stress on your wrists, forearms, shoulders, and back. This ergonomic design also helps you type faster and more accurately. 

In essence, this is an investment in long-term comfort, health, and productivity.

Let's discuss what these ergonomic mechanical keyboards can do for you.

What Is Ergonomics?

Let's define ergonomics first. Ergonomics refers to the application of physiological and psychological principles, doctrines, foundations, and precepts to the design, engineering, and functionality of products, processes, and systems to fit their users. Ergonomic outputs are conceptualized and created to improve comfort, efficiency, and productivity; enhance safety, health, and comfort; and prevent discomfort and long-term injuries when users interact with these outputs.

When it comes to office settings, a well-planned ergonomic setup can make a considerable difference, particularly if you spend long hours on your desk.  

Why Choose a Mechanical Keyboard at Work?

Investing in a mechanical keyboard for your workspace can significantly improve your everyday working experience.

  1. Durability: Mechanical keyboards are built to last. They have a sturdier construction that ensures longevity compared to traditional membrane keyboards.
  2. Tactile Feedback: Mechanical switches provide tactile feedback with each keypress, promoting a more efficient typing experience by reducing errors and boosting accuracy.
  3. Customization Options: Mechanical keyboards offer a range of customization options. This allows users to tailor their typing experience by selecting switch types and customizing keycaps.
  4. Ergonomic Benefits: Some mechanical keyboards are designed with ergonomic features to reduce strain on the hands and wrists during prolonged typing sessions.
  5. Aesthetic Appeal: Mechanical keyboards come in various stylish designs and customizable options, which boosts the aesthetic appeal and personal appearance to the office setup.

How Does an Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard Help You At Work?

a man typing on a mechanical keyboard

Investing in a mechanical keyboard is great. But what if you choose an ergonomic mechanical keyboard? Then that's a whole new level of comfort and productivity at work. Here are some of the key advantages of using an ergonomic mechanical keyboard:

  1. Improved Posture: Ergonomic mechanical keyboards encourage a more natural hand and wrist position while typing. Features such as split layouts, tenting angles, and palm rests help align your wrists and hands properly.
  2. Reduced Strain on Wrist and Hands: By maintaining a neutral wrist position, ergonomic keyboards help decrease the pressure on the wrists and hands. This minimizes the risk of conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. 
  3. Enhanced Comfort: The ergonomic design of these keyboards ensures that your hands and wrists are supported and cushioned during typing. You can sustain or even improve your focus and productivity throughout the workday.
  4. Customizable Layouts: Many ergonomic mechanical keyboards offer customizable layouts, allowing you to adjust the position and angle of individual keys to better suit your typing style and hand size. 
  5. Promotes Natural Typing Movements: Ergonomic keyboards are designed to accommodate the natural movements of your fingers and hands while typing. Typing becomes smoother and more fluid, reducing the risk of repetitive stress injuries.
  6. Prevention of Fatigue: Ergonomic mechanical keyboards help prevent typing-related fatigue. You can work more comfortably for longer periods without experiencing discomfort or tiredness.
  7. Long-Term Health Benefits: Investing in an ergonomic mechanical keyboard can have long-term health benefits by reducing the risk of developing chronic hand and wrist injuries associated with repetitive typing tasks. 

Customizing Your Mechanical Keyboard to be Ergonomic

For an optimal work setup, it's worth tweaking your mechanical keyboard to be more ergonomic. Check out these simple tips:

  1. Split Layouts: Use a split keyboard layout where the keys are divided into two separate halves. The design allows you to position both halves at shoulder width apart. This promotes a more natural typing posture.
  2. Adjustable Tenting: Look for keyboards with adjustable tenting options that allow you to tilt the keyboard so you can position it to a more comfortable typing angle for your wrists. Tenting helps to align your hands and wrists to reduce strain and discomfort.
  3. Ergonomic Keycap Profiles: Some keycap profiles, such as sculpted or contoured keycaps, are designed to fit the natural curves of your fingers, promoting a more comfortable and efficient typing experience. 
  4. Wrist Rests: Invest in a wrist rest that provides cushioning and support for your wrists while typing. 
  5. Customizable Key Assignments: Many mechanical keyboards offer programmable keys that allow you to customize key assignments and macros according to your preferences. Take advantage of this feature to assign frequently used shortcuts and commands to easily accessible keys, so you don't have to do excessive or repetitive hand movements.
  6. Switch Selection: Consider switches with lighter actuation forces if you experience finger fatigue or switches with tactile feedback if you prefer a more responsive typing feel. Experiment with different switch types to find the one that provides the most comfortable typing experience for you.
  7. Keyboard Layouts: Explore alternative keyboard layouts such as ergonomic or ortholinear layouts that may better accommodate your typing style and hand anatomy. These layouts can help reduce strain on your fingers and promote a more natural typing posture.
  8. Keyboard Height and Angle: Adjust the height and angle of your keyboard to ensure that it is positioned at a comfortable and ergonomic height relative to your desk and chair. Avoid typing with your wrists bent upwards or downwards as this can increase strain on your wrists and lead to discomfort.

Recommended Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboards

Kinesis Advantage2

Here are some recommended ergonomic mechanical keyboards that can significantly improve your typing experience. 

  1. Kinesis Advantage2: The Kinesis Advantage2 is a popular ergonomic mechanical keyboard featuring a unique contoured design to encourage a more natural hand position. It features Cherry MX mechanical switches, customizable key layouts, and programmable keys for enhanced productivity. The keyboard's split design and tenting options help reduce strain on the wrists and promote ergonomic typing.
  2. ErgoDox EZ: The ErgoDox EZ is a fully customizable split mechanical keyboard that allows users to adjust the layout, key switches, and tenting angles to suit their ergonomic preferences. It features an ortholinear layout and Cherry MX switches, along with programmable keys and RGB backlighting. The split design and adjustable tenting options help minimize strain on the hands and wrists during typing.
  3. Matias Ergo Pro: The Matias Ergo Pro is an ergonomic split mechanical keyboard designed to reduce strain and promote comfort during extended typing sessions. It has Matias mechanical switches, sculpted keycaps, and adjustable tenting and palm supports to accommodate various typing preferences and hand positions. The keyboard's split layout and ergonomic features help maintain proper wrist alignment and reduce fatigue.
  4. Mistel Barocco: The Mistel Barocco is a compact and portable split mechanical keyboard with an ergonomic design. It has Cherry MX switches, PBT keycaps, and customizable key layouts. The keyboard's split layout and adjustable tenting angles allow a more natural typing posture.
  5. X-Bows Ergonomic Keyboard: The X-Bows Ergonomic Keyboard features a unique ergonomic layout designed to reduce strain and promote comfort during typing. It has Cherry MX switches, customizable key layouts, and a split design with tenting options. The keyboard's ergonomic layout helps minimize hand and wrist movements, reducing fatigue and increasing typing efficiency.
  6. ErgoTravel Keyboard: The ErgoTravel Keyboard is a compact split mechanical keyboard designed for ergonomic typing on the go. It features a split layout, tenting options, and customizable key mappings. Despite its portable size, the keyboard's ergonomic design helps reduce strain on the hands and wrists.

Conclusion

Traditional keyboards can be harsh on your hands. You don't have to suffer using such a keyboard. An ergonomic mechanical keyboard makes typing much more relaxed and enjoyable. It also decreases exhaustion, reduces wrist strain, and lowers the chances of repetitive strain injuries.

Revamp your work environment and your work routine with an ergonomic mechanical keyboard. Treat your hands to the comfort they deserve.

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
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