Leave Your Keyboard Feet Folded In For Better Ergonomics

We've all seen those little feet that extend out of our keyboards, but did you ever ask what they're really for? It turns out they're not there for ergonomics.

I recently got a new keyboard and realised I never knew whether I was supposed to extend those feet or not. After a little research, I discovered that they're usually there not for better ergonomics but to make it easier to see the keys. This little post from keyboard maker BakkerElkhuizen explains it well:

First of all, it is important to distinguish between people who can type ‘blind’ and people who cannot (who use two fingers).

The advantage of extended Feet for non-‘blind’ typers is that they can see the keys more easily. There are no disadvantages of extended Feet for them.

But things are different for people who can type blind, as they do not look at the keyboard while typing. The Feet do not therefore need to be extended. In fact, extending the Feet can put one’s wrists at risk if they are angled back too far. For this reason, blind typers can best keep the Feet retracted and use a relatively thin keyboard. Various studies even have demonstrated a beneficial effect when angling the keyboard away from the user (with a negative incline).

So, if you have to look at the keyboard when you type, extending your keyboard feet (or making some of your own) can be good. If you can type without looking at the keyboard, however, you're ergonomically better off ignoring them (especially on newer keyboards). If they aren't comfortable flat, your chair might be too low — try adjusting it higher and you should notice a difference. Hit the link to read more.

Feet in or out [BakkerElkhuizen]


Comments

    What if you can type both ways?

    I actually can blind type but my typing speed goes down to about 30WPM whereas with the occaiional look at the keyboard and using the first thress fingers of each hand (third is used less) my typing speed is at 112WPM.

      I call bullshit. No way you can type accurately at 112 wpm with the first "thress fingers on each hand".

      Last edited 21/06/13 7:17 am

        i can a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a Ctl-A Ctl-C Ctl-V i can a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a Ctl-A Ctl-C Ctl-Vi can a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a Ctl-A Ctl-C Ctl-Vi can a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a Ctl-A Ctl-C Ctl-Vi can a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a

        I can type over 2000WPM using this method ( and only use 2 fingers on one Hand)

    The problem is at work you usually don't have a choice about using a thinner flatter keyboard. I have zero issues touch typing on a flat surface at home, but at work I use the feet to adjust the angle for ergonomics, as having such a thick keyboard flat is just shit and slows me down.

      The problem is at work you usually don't have a choice about using a thinner flatter keyboard
      Your work may only supply one kind of keyboard, but I would think that you are free to purchase your own. I've never heard of a company that restricts users to a specific keyboard, and I work in the industry.

      I have zero issues touch typing on a flat surface at home, but at work
      Are you saying that your work computer is not on a flat surface? I think that most computer users sit at a standard flat desk, which is where the article would apply most.

        All USB devices are disabled except the approved hardware, and the main company couldn't give two shits about contractors so nope, no choice.

          Wow, that's really strict. I forgot that there are companies with such tight security.

    That's why Microsoft's Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 7000 is the best typing KB in the universe (ok, ok,"IMO") since other than being damn comfy, it's raised up higher closer to your body & slants down away from you.

    Though other people see it and go "how the f*** do you use that thing?"

    Well, I guess its a good thing then that my keyboard doesn't have feet anymore. They have a tendency not to last long during bouts of frustration!

    Load of bull. I'm a touch typist and prefer the up angle. Why is it that even the keyboard in the photo without the feet extended has about a 6 degree angle? It's all about preference.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now