It's no secret that using your computer for hours at a time as millions of us do around the world gradually takes a toll on our bodies and especially on our wrists and hands from all that typing that we do.
While your shoulders, neck, back and eyes all are affected through time, your wrists are one of the ones that become affected early on.
When it comes to choosing a keyboard, one size does not fit all and while many workplaces only provide a standard rectangular keyboard, these can actually prevent your wrists from resting correctly and often at unusual angles which put pressure on your nerves and blood vessels which can cause problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
One of the best ways to combat this is to choose an ergonomic keyboard which provides a different alignment for your wrists to sit on the table or on the keyboard.
Ergonomic keyboards are becoming very popular around the world and are designed in various different ways from a standard curve to a split keyboard system.
Today we will be looking at the top five best ergonomic keyboards available to purchase in Australia based on a wide variety of different features, such as design, usability and functionality.
Whether you are purchasing an ergonomic keyboard for yourself or your employer is going to purchase one for you there is something to suit every budget.
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1. Logitech Wireless Wave
The Wireless Wave keyboard and Mouse Combo (Model MK550) from Logitech is an ergonomically designed set which relieves and lessens wrist and hand fatigue.
It does this by providing an integrated palm wrest in a familiar wave-style keyboard design which is easy to adapt to and is comfortable for fluid wrist and finger movement. The 998gm weight gives the keyboard a solid feel under your hands.
The keys are well set out and are surprisingly quiet even with the solid tactile feeling of the keys. The keyboard also offers three leg height settings to suit all users. A laser mouse which is conveniently ambidextrous is included in the set.
This is a sturdy feeling mouse which is comfortable even for larger hands. The keyboard and mouse are battery operated (these are supplied with purchase).
Plug the keyboard and mouse into the Logitech Unifying Receiver to sync to your device and you’re ready to go without any software downloads.
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2. Perixx Periboard-512 Wired
The PERIBOARD-512 Wired Ergonomic Keyboard from German company Perixx is another wave style keyboard featuring a split-key design, integrated palm rest, durable laser printed keys and seven multi-media hotkeys.
Fantastic for those processing a lot of documents, including repetition, this keyboard offers a separate numerical keypad area (we all love that), a long-distance key structure, solid keystroke feedback and easy plug’n’play use from purchase.
The laser printed keys are so much more durable than others made from silk print, suiting high-volume typing.
The familiar curved (wave) shape and palm rest provide relief for your arms, wrists and fingers from the stress of typing over long periods experienced without such a rest.
The strain of holding your hands in position over a traditional keyboard is what leads to distressingly painful and often debilitating RSI and tendonitis.
The keys are comfortably tactile without being too clunky or tight.
This keyboard also offers 7 multi-media hotkeys, including email, volume, search etc. A 6m USB cable interface allows you to place the keyboard wherever it’s most comfortable for you.
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3. Microsoft Sculpt
The split keyboard layout of the Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business by Microsoft is designed to put your arms and wrists into a position which is both natural and comfortable over long periods.
It also features a large palm rest which is raised in a 3D dome shape to cushion the writs and hands, relieving tension and reducing the risk of serious conditions such as RSI and tendonitis for those who spend long hours performing particularly repetitive typing tasks.
The layout of the keys in an arc shape imitates the fingertips, providing the ultimate ease in typing with minimal movement of the fingers.
The keyboard also has a completely physically separate number pad, allowing for more options in the setup of a workspace.
This is great for accountants and others using numbers extensively. This is a wireless keyboard which uses a Microsoft dongle plugged into your device, not Bluetooth.
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4. Kinesis Advantage2
With 25 years’ experience in designing and manufacturing ergonomic keyboards, Kinesis’ Advantage 2 features their patented Contoured design for the ultimate in typing comfort and minimisation of wrist and hand injuries from repetitive keyboard use.
The unusual layout of the keys provides optimum support for your forearms, wrists and hands.
The mechanical keys are highly responsive and tactile yet not stiff or clunky so your fingers can move quickly and fluidly over the keyboard.
This keyboard is fully programmable via its SmartSet Programming Engine so you can customise the layout to suit your personal preference. This feature can be used to create, view, edit, share, and backup custom layouts on any major operating system. You can record macros, remap keys and much more.
It’s Windows, Mac and PC compatible. The board weighs just a shade under one kilo so it sits steadily on the desktop without slippage.
This is a keyboard which may take a bit to get used to but once you've mastered it you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to both your typing speeds and your level of comfort.
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5. Kinesis Freestyle2
Another Kinesis product, the Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for PC (20” Extended Separation) is an extremely versatile keyboard and one which, once you’re familiar with it and have adjusted it to suit your personal preference, you won’t regret investing in.
This is amazing for both improving typing speeds and reducing errors, as well as reducing typing fatigue and the risk of injuries such as RSI.
The unusual and unique split keyboard design (up to 20” separation) allows the user to position each of the two sections to match their natural body type, width and posture.
Its keys are low-impact and highly responsive and tactile as well as being very quiet for a comfortable work environment. The keyboard uses a traditional layout for the keys and the embedded numeric keypad is easily accessed.
It features optional gel pad palm supports to keep your wrists at a comfortably neutral position, as well as lifters which can be placed underneath to raise the gradient of the sections to provide forearm support and relief. PC-specific hotkeys are available for common shortcuts.
Where To Buy Ergonomic Keyboards?
You can purchase these online from marketplaces such as Amazon.com.au or eBay. Additionally you can buy them at retailers such as Harvey Norman, JB HiFi, Bing Lee, Scorptec, Mwave, PC Gear Case, PLE Computers and Umart.