Unfortunately, many office workers are out there falling victim to poor keyboard designs, without even realizing the debacle that they're in. Not only is the content today meant to help you understand why an ergonomic design may be necessary, but you also get to see some models that allow you to choose the best ergonomic keyboard for your needs.
Smart office accessories are nice to have, but all the technology in the world cannot save you from improper positioning and the negative effects it can have over time.
When keyboards aren't designed properly, the most glaring difficulty is the challenge presented in typing. Some people are led to believe that is the only problem, but the iceberg runs a bit deeper than that.
Your wrists, fingers, and hands are not meant to deal with certain levels of stress, and when you employ one of these badly built designs, you begin to put that kind of consistent and unwanted stress on them.
Initially, this doesn't present much of a visible concern. However, as time passes, you can begin to develop conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Not only do you want to avoid this because of what it means medically, but it takes away your ability to work effectively, which directly affects your livelihood.
That's because you have a pinched nerve that gives you a tingling sensation in your hand and a sense of numbness in the wrist.
So, why not explore what an ergonomic keyboard is before continuing? That way you can better understand how one can fit into your desk setup for your computer needs.
What Is an Ergonomic Keyboard?
As you can infer, ergonomic keyboards are built upon the principle of ergonomics, which aims to bring the worker, the equipment, and the environment together into one complimentary package.
Therefore, instead of being designed to fit a general purpose, the manufacturer aims to make it fit the user, with smart features and adjustability. When you implement this alongside an under desk keyboard tray, you end up with greater productivity, consistent comfort, better alignment, and a neutral posture.
With all that combined, you mitigate your chances of dealing with challenges, such as the aforementioned carpal tunnel syndrome. If the keyboard doesn't fit you, you find that you have to adjust yourself to fit the keyboard, and that is never a good thing.
Of course, unless you have direct contact with the manufacturer, the ergonomic keyboard cannot be literally made specifically for you.
However, thanks to the features included, you find that these keyboards can fit a variety of body types and work needs. If you want to understand the scale of difference, then you should know that using an improperly designed keyboard for only 20 minutes daily is enough to cause long-term damage.
If you haven't felt the effects just yet, then you should be thankful, but you may want to consider making the jump to a more ergonomic life sooner rather than later.
Note that just because a keyboard is ergonomic, that doesn't mean it is not going to be equipped with other design nuances that you may want. For example, you may want an ergonomic mechanical keyboard or a Bluetooth ergonomic keyboard. Both these things exist and are quite common.
So, as popular as they are, you don't necessarily have to go with the standard wired soft key design.
Before jumping into the options, this is a good time to point out that there are a few different types of ergonomic keyboards that you may come across.
First, there is the contoured keyboard, which is probably what you imagine when you hear the term “ergonomic keyboard.” These keyboards tend to feature a wave-like shape, and you can see a slight peak in the middle. Getting a bird's eye view of the keyboard makes it look something like a wavy path.
Angle keyboards are next, and their name comes from the gradient that's built into their design. So, from the front of the keyboard to the back, you are going to notice a bit of a slope. The whole idea is to keep your wrist straight and maintain the copying of your hands as you type.
Some people believe that their keyboard stands achieve this effect, but they do quite the opposite. Because the stands tend to angle the further part of the keyboard upward, you are more likely to bend your wrists even slightly backward to compensate.
Instead, the slope with ergonomic keyboards is reversed, since either a flat wrist or a slight angle downward is much better for you.
Split keyboards are last, and these are also often seen in the ergonomic landscape. Many gamers have started to use these for their activities. As the name suggests, there is a pronounced split that you can see, which means that you get two sides that angle away from each other.
There is a belief that hand spacing with standard keyboards is not always the best, so the split keyboard allows you to take advantage of optimal spacing, greater wrist comfort, and a better typing workflow.
Note, however, that if you were ever a one-handed or one-fingered typist, then this one is probably going to take some adjusting before you get into the swing of things. Again, design implements, such as mechanical keys can be combined with this style too, so a split mechanical keyboard is not out of the realm of possibility.
Best Ergonomic Keyboards in 2022
Without any further ado, it’s time to jump into some of the keyboards that you may want to consider if you want the best possible experience in the office.
1. Matias Programmable Ergo Pro Keyboard
This is the first best ergonomic keyboard for you. Choosing to kick things off with the Matias Programmable Ergo Pro Keyboard represents starting on the strongest note possible. Its whole idea is to promote good health and typing ergonomics by allowing for customizability in the workspace.
Of the ergonomic keyboard types highlighted, this one falls under the split category. The idea is to help you find your optimal position, offering center tenting with 4.5 degrees of negative tilt.
It's a smart office accessory through and through, allowing you to take advantage of preset shortcuts or program new ones to easily support the way you work.
Some people tend to use custom software for this, but Matias went the extra mile to ensure that you had this kind of functionality at your fingertips.
When you see mechanical switches on a keyboard, you may tend to get uneasy in quieter environments. Well, this split mechanical keyboard gives you nothing to worry about, as it has a do not disturb design.
In other words, there is a quiet click implementation, meaning you aren't going to be affecting any of your coworkers.
The inclusion of premium bonded lycra gel palm support and laser edge sculpted keycaps allow you to enjoy comfortable resting positions and faster, more efficient typing.
With all of that, you get a more improved navigation cluster, anti-ghosting circuitry to prevent missing letters, and three additional USB 2.0 ports built directly into your keyboard.
Do you even need to wonder why this design stands head and shoulders above the rest?
2. Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard
It's almost no surprise that Microsoft made this best ergonomic keyboard list. After all, this is a company that has built computer accessories, entire computers, and the most popular computer operating system in the world. Why wouldn't it throw its hat into the keyboard market?
It has also done so in a quite successful fashion. One of the immediately attractive things about the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard is it's shockingly affordable price. It's a wireless unit, meaning that you don't have to worry about any loose cables.
It's a partially split keyboard, meaning it's technically one unit, but all the key rows above the spacebar have a split between them. It makes for a wider keyboard than usual, but aims to take the place of efficient spacing without fully separating the keyboard.
There is a wrist rest attached, and the design is easy to get used to.
3. ErgoDox EZ Keyboard
This is another best ergonomic keyboard for you. Highly customizable is the term that you'd use to describe the ErgoDox EZ keyboard. It is one of the most customizable and adjustable fully split keyboards on the market. Some people in this world enjoy tinkering with their ergonomic keyboards, and this design seems to have been made especially for them.
You have your choice of 12 different keyboard switch types, with easily replaceable keycaps and switches at your disposal.
The whole thing is built on open-source firmware, which means that the source code is available for you to tinker with keymaps and the backlight to your liking.
So, it's not hard to see that this design is not necessarily for those who just want to get some simple typing done. Instead, it's for the customization enthusiasts who want to protect their ergonomic interests as they work.
4. Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Of course, Microsoft pops up again, this time with the surface ergonomic keyboard. It's an improvement on the aforementioned Sculpt, featuring a new aesthetic, the return of the positioning and wrist-friendly features, and an optimal shape selection.
There was a separate numeric keypad that was not necessarily the best design choice of the Sculpt, so the Surface has implemented it all as a single unit.
Note that this ergonomic keyboard is silver, which may not necessarily be everyone's cup of tea.
It's a Bluetooth ergonomic keyboard, using a low energy signal with a range of 30 feet, which is never going to be pushed to its limits. AAA batteries are used to power it, and Microsoft includes a set upon shipping.
5. Kinesis Advantage2
If there were ever a keyboard that was perfectly suited for a programmer desk setup, it would be the Kinesis Advantage2. It's probably a very good time to say that the cost of this best ergonomic keyboard is not too far removed from a basic laptop, but it's justified in the design.
The split here is implemented uniquely. There is one large rectangular unit with concave key wells on either side, aiming to keep you working in a relaxed manner.
A staggered key design, which you've probably come to expect these days is not present here. Instead, keys are vertically arranged, yielding maximum comfort and great efficiency.
Note that you can choose between MX quiet red and MX brown switches, the former of which allows for much less sound disturbance when you're working around others.
Finally, you can choose either the standard QWERTY or the Dvorak key formats, based on whichever you find more comfortable.
6. Logitech MK550
Logitech claims the final spot on this best ergonomic keyboard list, which is yet another unsurprising feat. The manufacturer has been in the peripheral market for a very long time now. It even extends beyond your typical desktop peripherals, as this is the same manufacturer responsible for the popular G29 and G920 racing wheel peripherals for driving gamers.
Getting back on topic, what you have here is a wireless combo, which is very typical of Logitech. So, instead of just getting a keyboard, you get an ergonomic mouse alongside it.
Of course, this is a wireless design, employing a USB dongle for its connection. So, if you have any concerns about cable management, you can proceed to throw them out of the window now.
The keyboard’s central hump allows for maximum comfort, raising just slightly. Additionally, you get a soft perforated palm wrist, which prevents you from awkwardly pressing into the keyboard and injuring your wrists.
The mouse is ergonomically sculpted as well, allowing for perfect matching with the internal contours of the palm. Additionally, it includes two thumb buttons for tremendous convenience.
Note that two AA batteries are needed for each component, but Logitech ships the unit with an initial set.
You may have asked yourself, do ergonomic keyboards work? Well, with the wealth of information presented above, this is one query that should be very much answered at this juncture.
Beyond that, you got to see some of the best ergonomic keyboards available that should contribute to your designing of the best home office setup possible.
Remember that you always want to take advantage of ergonomics, even beyond just getting one of these keyboards. Your health is likely to thank you for such a decision.
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