What's so great about a compact keyboard?

Do you use a standard keyboard? You know, the long ones with the numeric pad that they give everyone? Do you feel any discomfort with your mousing hand?

If you have a look at your mousing arm, it probably isn't tucked nicely into your waist. I'd guess and say it's flailing out to the side and there is a lot of air under your mousing arm.  I usually do the paper test. If you can place a piece of paper under your armpit and still type without it falling down, then that is where your mousing arm needs to be.  You can only achieve this with a shorter, compact keyboard.  They generally shave off about 16cm in length from a standard keyboard and I wouldn't be without mine!  These keyboards are the ones without the numeric pad (but do't worry, you can buy numeric pads separately or just use the numbers along the top!).

If you are in the market for a new keyboard, there are 4 main factors you should consider (according to Safe Work Australia):

  1. Size: The gold standard for ergonomic keyboards is a compact keyboard. 
  2. Low profile keys: this makes it more comfortable to type.
  3. Quiet keys: which improves concentration.
  4. Keyboard flat: if the keyboard has the feet up, your forearms and wrists need to 'work against gravity' which isn't ideal long term.

Once you have your keyboard, here's how to set it up:

  • Position it flat on the desk with the “B” key in line with the center of your body. Ideally.
  • Place it between 6-12cm from the edge of the desk.
  • When typing, your shoulders should be relaxed and elbows at a 90-100 degree angle. If this is not the case, then you may need to adjust your chair or desk height.
  • If you are not a touch-typist and need to view the keys constantly, then perhaps invest in an online typing course. When you are constantly looking down at the keys and the back up at the screen, this can potentially cause neck strain.

Let me know if I can help you choose a keyboard suitable for you. I have a few lovely colours in stock.