Office Ergonomics: Alternate Input Devices


A traditional keyboard may cause you to bend your wrists sideways to reach all the keys.
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Ergonomically designed keyboards are angled to prevent this problem. These can include split or "tented" keyboards.
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Keyboard tilt, caused by extending the legs on the back of the keyboard or by a steep design angle, may cause the wrist to bend upward. This can be corrected by lowering the foot at the back of the keyboard. In some cases, a negative tilt, with the front of the keyboard slightly higher than the back may be preferrable, and can be achieved with some keyboard trays.
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Smaller keyboards, such as those found on laptops, may also contribute to stressful postures. These awkward wrist postures can create contact stress to the tendon sheath and tendons that must move within the wrist during repetitive keying. For frequent or extensive use of laptops, use a separate plug-in mouse, keyboard and screens to get an appropriate set-up.
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Alternative left hand keyboards which have the keypad permanently affixed to the left side of the keyboard are available as are keyboards with a detached keypad. These allow the user to switch positions for either left or right hand use. These may be especially useful for applications where workers share computers.
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Inappropriate size and shape of pointers can increase stress, cause awkward postures, and lead to overexertion. For example, using a pointing device that is too big or too small may cause you to increase finger force and bend your wrist into awkward positions. Using the left hand to operate a device that is designed for right-hand use can also create force and postures issues and may create contact stress to the soft tissue areas in the palm of the hand. Contact stress can create irritation and inflammation. Different styles, sizes and shapes of pointing devices are available.
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A split keyboard with a "Rollermouse". This device places all pointing functions in the center of the palm rest for easy access with the thumb.
external image ergo_keyboard.jpghttp://www.contourdesign.com/
Mice also come in a variety of sizes to fit your hand.
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