"With the increased awareness of repetitive strain injuries and other workstation related ills, more and more people are starting to pay attention to their day to day work habits - from what kind of keyboard and mouse to use, to setting up their office chairs to get the best results.
When it comes to equipment however, experts warn that even the most advanced ergonomic design is hardly worth the dollars spent if it doesn't suit your body type and activities. As Birgitta Savoie, owner of Fitting Solutions Ergonomics in Toronto, points out, "You could buy a $2,000 chair that's not ergonomic for you. You have to look at what it is you do during your day and what you need the [equipment] to do and then buy the thing that suits."
The key to smart ergonomic shopping she say is in the "adjustability" factor. "The more adjustability there is in the product the better."
That can apply to everything from keyboards and mice to monitors and chairs. As far as workstation ergonomics go, following are some of the main sources of injury for hard core PC users, and some practical suggestions that can help ease the strain - and the pain of working at their desks.
Keyboards and mice
According to ErgoCanada.com, a source for ergonomic products and manufacturers, there are a number of flaws in conventional computer workstation equipment design that can be a cause for injury over a period of time.
Using the keyboard for an extended period of time can cause all sorts of problems for wrists, elbows and shoulders - including ulnar deviation (bending the wrist to create a 90 degree angle between the home row keys and hands); improper pronation (keeping hands flat to keep them in full contact with the keyboard rather than at a natural angle); and dorsiflexion (extending your wrist so your hand rises above it).
According to Michael Craggs, owner of ErgoCanada.com, many problems can be solved with either a split or splay keyboard design with features that minimize movement and allow for a lighter touch "However, not everyone has the same shoulder width, so you need to be sure you have chosen the right design for your size," advises Craggs.
A very common mistake for keyboard users is tilting it forward. "This creates a positively inclined surface that makes your hands bend even more," says Craggs.
Another no-no is gel wrist rests, says Savoie. "These are not meant to be used while keying because they create a lot pressure on the wrists that can lead to carpal tunnel injuries." (Continued via The PCWorld.ca) [Ergonomics Resources]
Check-out the Goldtouch Split Keyboard.