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A better posture with a compact keyboard

Download PDF A better posture with a compact keyboard
An ergonomic workspace improves the productivity of computer-based workers and prevents physical discomfort. The ideal workspace can easily be created with just a few small adjustments. We develop and supply high-quality ergonomic keyboards for healthier workspaces. Our keyboards alleviate the strain on the user’s lower arms, which helps prevent injuries.

An ergonomic keyboard: an essential computer accessory
A study conducted by Microsoft shows that an active computer user’s fingers can travel up to 32 kilometres per day. The keyboard is therefore an important part of a computer and choosing the right keyboard is essential. Most keyboards found in office environments are models with a fixed numeric keypad. However, did you know that only 10% of all computer users actually use this part of their keyboard? By removing it and making the keyboard smaller, your ergonomic posture will improve.

The benefits
Removing the numeric keypad leaves you with a compact keyboard. The major advantage of this design is that you can place your mouse closer to your body, which means you will not have to reach as far to use your mouse. Because you can keep your arms alongside your body, the discomfort you feel in your hands and wrists all the way up to your shoulders will decrease. An added advantage is that a compact keyboard is much easier to bring along than a standard keyboard. There is no longer any excuse for not working in an ergonomically sound manner while on the road.

What are the research results?
Research shows that circa 90% of all computer users never or only partially use their numeric keypad (Cakir, 2008). It would be ideal if the numeric keypad could be used separately on both the right and left sides of the keyboard itself. Compact keyboards are considered to be more comfortable than standard keyboards (Van Lingen et al, 2003).

How neutral is a neutral posture?
A compact keyboard allows you to adopt a neutral posture. Because the keyboard is narrower than a standard model, you do not have to reach as far to use your mouse. That makes it possible to sit with correct posture.

The differences between a compact and a standard keyboard
Standard and compact keyboards not only differ in terms of size; there is also the optimal layout to consider. Compact models lack the numeric keypad. Furthermore, the arrow keys are located elsewhere and the keyboard contains an editing section (with e.g. a Delete button). The placement of the letters and the distance to the keys are comparable to those of a standard keyboard.

The following image illustrates the three main differences between a standard and a compact keyboard:
1. The numeric keypad;
2. The cursor;
3. The editing section.

ISO standard
The European Guideline, or ISO standard, recommends a neutral posture when using a keyboard and mouse. According to the ISO organisation, that is not possible when using a keyboard with a standard design.

A compact keyboard will resolve the following issues:
  • Discomfort in the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and even neck
  • You can work with a keyboard anywhere; it is a portable solution
  • Less discomfort when using a mouse, because you do not have to reach as far
  •  Your desk will be less cluttered. Because of the smaller dimensions of the keyboard, you can keep everything you need to do your work within easy reach and organise your desk more efficiently

Want to read more interesting whitepapers about this topic?

- AltMOUSE: for less use of the mouse
- Designing workstations
- Should I have the Feet on my keyboard in or out?
- Multi-pairing: One keyboard, numerous devices
- The Mousetrapper feeling  
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