Avoid Computer-Caused Neck And Shoulder Strain With A Split Keyboard

Avoid Computer-Caused Neck and Shoulder Strain with a Split Keyboard

It's not just sitting all day in front of a computer that's killing you; poorly designed computers can be bad for our bodies. Friend of Lifehacker David Kadavy says a split keyboard may be the biggest thing since the standing desk. Here's how to tell if a split keyboard is for you.

First, the facts. As the Design for Hackers author notes, office workers tend to have neck and upper back problems, usually because of tension in the trapezius muscles, which support outstretched arms. A big source of that tension is how we use standard keyboards — with our hands close together, stretched out from our bodies, and our shoulders subsequently pushed forward.

A split keyboard reduces that tension because you can more comfortably keep your arms by your sides (not to mention, position it perfectly for your needs). Here's Kadavy's experiment to see if a 100 per cent split keyboard is for you:

Try this experiment:

  • Put the fingers of your left hand on your right shoulder, where your shoulder meets your chest.
  • Now, try putting your right hand on your keyboard, as if you were typing.
  • Now, move your right hand to the right, outside your keyboard.
  • Now that your right arm has cleared your body, you can have your hand closer to your body. Slide your right hand toward yourself a bit.

Did you feel how much your shoulder and chest moved? Did it feel more natural and comfortable to you? If so, you might like a "truly split" keyboard

Check out the full post below for keyboard suggestions, more convincing arguments and additional ergonomic advice.

(Also, if you already have that dreaded computer hunch, try this 30-second solution.)

This weird keyboard may be the biggest thing since your standing desk [David Kadavy]


    Split keyboards? I've got déjà vu all over again as the 1990s returns!
    In next week's Lifehacker "leading edge" post: DVORAK keyboards - Do they really help RSI?

    ((The sarcasm was dripping strong in this post))

    I found that switching to various ergonomic gadgets worked for a while, then it reappeared somewhere slightly different.

    Then I tried exercise. My shoulder and wrist pains went away.

    I need a split key board I'm not used to my standard one after driving to work with my split steering wheel.

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