Types of Ergonomic Keyboards
The standard type of ergonomic keyboards are placed flat on top of a surface. This allows a user to be able to type text directly in front of a computer, usually accompanied by a laptop touch-pad or a mouse.
Handheld ergonomic keyboards are designed to be held like a game controller, and can be used as such, instead of laid out flat on top of a table surface. They allow the user the ability to move around a room or to lean back on a chair while also being able to type in front or away from the computer. Some variations of handheld ergonomic keyboards also include a trackball mouse that allow mouse movement and typing included in one handheld device.
An ergonomic keyboard may reduce muscle strain and reduce risk of carpal tunnel syndrome or other kinds of repetitive strain injury, but there is no clear evidence of benefit. Manufacturers claim ergonomic keyboards reduce injuries, and that after a user takes the time to adjust to this style of keyboard, they can help reduce strain and increase typing speed.
Ergonomic keyboards are often marketed as premium equipment, with according features and software, and pricing. For a full featured mechanical keyboard, including adjustable splits, prices can be around $250, while some high-end sets cost many hundreds more. Simple ergonomical keyboards with no additional features are available in the lower price range, their average cost only slightly exceeding conventional non-shaped keyboards of comparable production quality.
- Fagarasanu, M., Kumar, S. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to keyboarding and mouse tasks: A review. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 2003, 31 (2), pp. 119-136.