Ergonomics Consultants | Ergonomic Keyboard - Solutions Northwest, Inc.
Seattle, WA: 206-521-5676 Olympia, WA: 360-236-8748 Portland/Salem, OR: 503-768-9742 San Diego, CA: 877-976-9462 Info@SolutionsNW.com
Consider an Ergonomic Keyboard While Working From Home

Consider an Ergonomic Keyboard While Working From Home

Consider an Ergonomic Keyboard While Working From Home

If you are doing remote work for the first time or have a home office, you are likely spending a lot of time typing on a keyboard for work.

Frequently writing emails, documents, or just surfing the web can cause strain on your hands. If your work requires you to use a keyboard, investing in an ergonomic keyboard may be a great option.

If you are unaware of ergonomic keyboards, don’t worry. Our ergonomics consultants are here to break it down for you.

Here are the pros and cons of ergonomic keyboards, and some popular picks.

What is an ergonomic keyboard? 

An ergonomic keyboard is designed to be comfortable and prevent pain. Most ergonomic keyboards split the keyboard in half, allowing the keyboard to cause less strain in your hands and wrists, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

What are the pros of an ergonomic keyboard?Remote Worker Ergonomics Assessment

Some of the pros of an ergonomic keyboard include more comfort, as they are designed to keep your wrists and hands in a more comfortable position for an extended amount of time.

Additionally, ergonomic keyboards allow you to find a device that adapts and works better for you, rather than dealing with a preset keyboard that may not be comfortable.

Working in comfort usually leads to more productivity, which means you can spend more time being productive and less time in pain.

What are the cons of an ergonomic keyboard?

Sometimes, relearning how to type on an ergonomic keyboard can be challenging, primarily if you are used to a more traditional style keyboard.

Additionally, due to their split design and shape, ergonomic keyboards can sometimes cause you to type slower than usual before you get used to them.

Lastly, ergonomic keyboards require an investment. Some ergonomic keyboards can be expensive. Though you are paying for a well-designed and engineered product, the price may seem high when compared to a cheap keyboard.

However, many ergonomics consultants would tell you that investing in your workspace will pay off in the long run.

What are some popular ergonomic keyboards?

Depending on your home office needs, an ergonomic keyboard may be an excellent tool to have in your work set up. Here are 3 popular ergonomic keyboards:

1. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
This ergonomic keyboard is popular for those who want an affordable and sleek option. Created by Microsoft, this keyboard is well made and wireless.
Though this keyboard is not adjustable, it still offers a slightly split design and slope that provides a comfortable typing experience. 

Manufacturer Link: https://www.microsoft.com/accessories/en-us/products/keyboards/sculpt-ergonomic-desktop/l5v-00001

2. Logitech Ergo Keyboard
Logitech Ergo Keyboard
The Logitech Ergo is a popular, mid-level ergonomic keyboard that is excellent for those who want a more normal typing experience. The layout is closer than other keyboards, but it still feathers out, leaving your wrists and hands relaxed and happy. 

Manufacturer Link: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/k860-split-ergonomic-keyboard

3. Kinesis Freestyle Pro Keyboard
Kinesis Freestyle Pro Keyboard
The Kinesis Freestyle Pro is fully on-board programmable and has low-force key switches. Low force means that there is less force required to type. A tactile response reduces impact to the tips of the fingers.

This ergonomic keyboard is a favorite of the ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc., check out a detailed review here: https://www.solutionsnw.com/2018/06/19/kinesis-freestyle-pro-keyboard-review/

Manufacturer link: https://kinesis-ergo.com/shop/freestyle-pro/

Find the ergonomic keyboard that is right for you.

Working remotely from home can be difficult, make things easier with proper ergonomics. If you’re having trouble deciding how to set up your home office workspace, we recommend contacting our ergonomics experts.

Right now, Solutions Northwest Inc. is offering Virtual Ergonomics Assessments for office workers, home office workers, and remote workers that may need help for only $50. Contact us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today!

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

 

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

San Diego, CA

877-976-9462

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

4 Tips to Reduce Wrist Pain from Typing

4 Tips to Reduce Wrist Pain from Typing

San Diego Ergonomics: Office Tips for Keyboard and Mouse Wrist Pain

Has typing become a pain in the wrist? If so, you don’t have to continue to suffer. 

There are small changes you can make to the way you type that will help alleviate the pain.

Let’s explore 3 of the best ways to prevent wrist pain from typing too much at your office job. 

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

1. Rearrange the position of your keyboard and mouse. 

One of the fastest fixes you can try includes simply changing the location of your keyboard and mouse. Move them closer to the edge of your desk so your elbows are not resting on your desk.

This takes the pressure off your wrists as well and will help prevent them from bending and becoming uncomfortable.  

2. Sit properly. 

Bad posture can result in painful wrists, among other things. Keep both feet planted on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your head aligned with your spine and make sure your arms are loose, not tense. 

Ensure you don’t hunch over your keyboard as you type and don’t allow your wrists to droop.  

Take a look at our recent ergonomics blog, “The Ergonomic Way to Sit at Your Desk and View Your Monitor,” for more details on properly setting up your workstation with office ergonomics in mind.

3. Take frequent breaks from typing at work.

To take it easy on your wrists, make sure you take constant breaks. Every 20 minutes you should be getting up and spending at least two minutes away from your computer. 

This will prevent too much strain on your wrists and body. While you’re on a break it’s helpful to practice some stretching, which brings us to our next point. 

4. Stretch.

If you spend many hours of the day on your keyboard, you should be taking time in between to stretch your wrists and prevent discomfort. 

An easy stretch to learn would be the Praying Pose:

Prayer Hand Stretch - Mouse

Sitting with your elbows on the desk and palms in prayer position, slowly lower your wrists to the table until you feel a stretch. Keep your palms together throughout the stretch. Hold 5 to 7 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times.

Check out our ergonomics blog, “3 Easy Stretches for Mouse Users,” to learn more stretches.
In conclusion, making small changes in your work habits can make a big impact on injury prevention in the office.

If you or anyone else in the office is suffering from wrist pain due to mouse or keyboard use – following these easy tips is a great way to combat preventable office injury. Be sure to share these tips with your office workers and human resource managers.

To make your office staff even safer, consider performing an ergonomics evaluation for your office. Contact the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. to evaluate your workstation.

Check out the rest of our ergonomics blog for more advice about safety and comfort in the workplace.

At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics evaluations available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

San Diego, CA

877-976-9462

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Portland/Salem, OR

503-768-9742

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Contact our Ergonomics Experts

3 Ergonomic Gadgets Every Office Should Try

3 Ergonomic Gadgets Every Office Should Try

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

The average American worker spends 7 hours a day on the computer.” – American Eye-Q 2015

If you’re like most American office workers, you likely spend a lot of time on the computer. In fact, “the average American worker spends 7 hours a day on the computer” says a 2015 American Eye-Q study.

Working on the computer for extended periods of time can take a toll on your body, especially if you aren’t proactive about researching what tools work best for your workstation.  

While it is always recommended to perform an ergonomics assessment of your workspace, this ergonomics blog will explore a few computer peripherals designed with computer ergonomics in mind.

Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

Trackball Mouse

While no tools provide complete protection from carpal tunnel syndrome, the trackball requires much less movement and is considered by some to be a carpal tunnel relief gadget.

A trackball mouse, like a traditional mouse, is a pointing device. Unlike a traditional mouse, it remains stationary and has a ball on its top or side. In addition to the ball, a trackball commonly has one or more buttons that work like mouse buttons.

Operating the trackball with the three middle fingers reduces two ergonomics risk factors: static gripping and repetitive wrist movement.

Ergonomics experts recommend ambidextrous trackballs with a ball in the center rather than the side to minimize the risk of thumb tendonitis. Below are examples of a few ambidextrous trackballs:

Take a more in depth look at trackballs in our blog about switching to a trackball mouse.

Split Ergonomic Keyboards

There are many varieties of ergonomic keyboards such as split and contoured, but the split keyboard is a great way to reduce muscle strain and reduce the risk of carpal tunnel or other repetitive strain injuries.

Split keyboards that split into independent pieces are sometimes referred to as adjustable split keyboards. This type of split keyboard will allow you to move the keyboard into a comfortable position, allowing one to easily relax the wrist or entire hand.

When a split ergonomic keyboard is needed, we suggest taking a look at our article on the Kinesis Freestyle Pro.

Computer Glasses

You may have never heard of computer glasses, but with digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome being so common in today’s work place, products like computer glasses have started to gain interest among office workers.

Computer glasses look just like regular glasses and are usually around the $50 to $100 price range. Unlike regular glasses, computer glasses are designed with an anti-reflective coating to reduce screen glare and harsh light. Most of these glasses will also filter the blue light that your computer screen emits.

Filtering blue light should reduce negative symptoms of staring at a screen and make it easier to perform your daily computer work. Feeling headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes, or even neck and shoulder pain can be reduced. In fact, your posture may improve as well because you won’t have to hunch closer to the screen as much.

For an in depth look at computer glasses, check out our blog article on the subject.

In conclusion

Remember to always consult with your doctor to rule out any possible underlying cause of pain. Whether you decide to try computer glasses, split keyboards, or a trackball mouse, be sure to communicate with your staff or co-workers to see if they’d like to try any of these products.

Additionally, be sure to perform an ergonomics assessment to ensure office safety. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit your ergonomics experts at SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more information.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

Contact our Experts

What Makes a Mouse or Trackball Ergonomic

What Makes a Mouse or Trackball Ergonomic

What makes a Mouse Ergonomic?

By Janet DeLapp, MS, CDMS, CPDM, CPE and Matt Copeland, BS, CEOE

Have you been using a computer for a long period of time? Chances are yes in this digital world that we all live in. But how does that mouse treat you after you’ve been working for a while? Do you feel discomfort in the wrist, elbow, or shoulder? Chances are you are not using a device designed with ergonomics in mind. Ergonomics Consultants | Solutions Northwest Inc.

What makes something ergonomic?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ergonomics as, “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely”. In this case, designing a device to fit a person properly would be ergonomic. So, what makes a device ergonomic? There are two simple points to consider when riddling whether your device is ergonomic or not: proper fit and placement/posture.

Proper fit: If your device is too big or too small for you, it’s not an ergonomic solution. If your device is too big, then you’re likely engaging the muscles of your hands and arm far more than necessary. Likewise, if your device is too small, you’re likely putting yourself into an awkward posture by holding your hand or fingers precariously to get enough hand/finger real estate on the device to use it.

Placement/Posture: Both are very important and both inform the other. Posture can be tricky as most all of us have developed our normal posture and departing from it can be difficult. Proper ergonomic or “neutral” posture goes like this. Your shoulders should be relaxed with your elbows by your side and bent about 90 degrees. Your wrists should be straight and not bent up or down or in or out. If your device is too far left or right, you are likely causing undue work for your shoulder. If it is too far forward or too close, you may start feeling it from the shoulder all the way to the wrist after extended periods of use.

In conclusion

If it doesn’t fit your hand and you can’t use it without straining your arm or shoulder, it’s probably not the right one, it is not in the correct position, or both. Be sure to consult with your Office Admin or Manager to see about ordering the proper tools and perhaps contacting an expert for a workplace ergonomics assessment.

Hopefully these ergonomics tips can help keep your workplace a safe work place. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit SolutionsNW.com or Contact Us for more information.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

 

Kinesis Freestyle Pro Keyboard Review

Kinesis Freestyle Pro Keyboard Review

By Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager at Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Kent, Renton, Seattle, and Tacoma Washington, California, and Oregon.

I’m a fan of the Kinesis Freestyle2 ergonomic keyboard, so when the new Kinesis Freestyle Pro mechanical/programmable ergonomic keyboard came out, I tested it out. In addition to having all the features of the Freestyle2, the Kinesis Freestyle Pro is fully on-board programmable and has low-force tactile Cherry MX brown mechanical key switches. Low force means that there is less force required to type. A tactile response reduces impact to the tips of the fingers.

One cool thing about the Pro is that while the basic configuration has 12″ of cable separating between the two sides of the keyboard, this can be adjusted. The cable compartment cover on the back of the left side can be removed, and additional length of cable can be pulled out up to 20″. Pictures of this are below.

Although they look similar, the VIP3 and V3 tenting accessories for the Freestyle2 do not fit the Pro. The VIP3 Pro (includes palm supports) and V3 Pro (does not include palm supports) are made for the Pro. They attach to the keyboard easily when following the included instructions. The tent setting adjustments are 5, 10, and 15 degrees on both the VIP3 Pro and V3 Pro. The VIP3 Pro is shown below with the different tenting angles. The V3 Pro accessory looks exactly the same, except it does not have the palm supports.

 

5 degrees of tenting

10 degrees of tenting

15 degrees of tenting

Hot keys on the Pro are desktop, last app, select all, undo, cut, delete, and copy & paste. Hot keys reduce mouse clicks as well as other repetitive and awkward movement of the hands.

When a split programmable ergonomic keyboard is needed, the Kinesis Freestyle Pro is a good choice.

For more ergonomics tips, visit SolutionsNW.com and subscribe to our blog.

SolutionsNW.com  provides work place and ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., an ergonomics assessment provider located in Seattle, Kent, Renton, Tacoma, Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

Freestyle Pro (PC & Mac)Mechanical / Programmable

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