Ergonomic Keyboard

Ergonomic keyboards alter the conventional hand position and sometimes the layout of the keys in order to make typing more comfortable. For people who suffer from CarpalTunnelSyndrome, this can mean the difference between working and not.

The Alternative Keyboard FAQ at contains tons of good information on why you should use an ergonomic keyboard instead of a standard one.

Some keyboards you can buy:

For those prefering more conventional designs:

There are also some non-keyboard alternatives. These devices typically use chords or input sequences so that you never have to move your fingers from the keys. Some examples:

Keyboard design is definitely in its infancy. We'll look back on today's standard keyboards in twenty years and get the same feeling we get today looking at ski equipment from the thirties: It's quaint, makes you feel nostalgic, and makes you wonder why people risked serious injury by using it.

This might be obvious, but if you don't know how to type (and have no intention of learning), then fixed-split QWERTY keyboards will probably just annoy you and they certainly won't help. I can type and I love my Microsoft keyboard (original model, not the newer ones). But my partner types with two fingers and finds my keyboard "too weird." In the case of the Microsoft keyboard, not only is the keyboard split, but the keys themselves have slightly different heights. It's subtle, but it freaks him out.

Another thing I found is that not all fixed-split keyboards are the same. When the Microsoft keyboard first came out, there were a few knock-off clones. I tried most of them, but found them inferior. I think the difference is in the slope of the keyboard. The clone split keyboards that were flat caused my hands to get tired very quickly.

-- JohnPassaniti

I can't believe no one has designed an alternative keyboard that satisfies my ErgonomicKeyboardWishList.

For keyers (WearableKeyboards?) see

I am interested in finding an ElderKeyboard? particularly for my 94 yr Grandmother, but also in the realization that we are all going to be there someday. . . MarkDilley

Then again, I've grown up with normal keyboards, used them since I was 7. I don't do 'official' touch-typing but evolved into a system of my own which I'm comfortable with that nonetheless uses all my fingers (left little finger only really for modifier keys such as shift). The thing that happens to me if I use an ergonomic keyboard is that my wrists start to get sore... I find those gel pads too to often be very distracting. So as with most things, ymmv. -- KristofferLawson

I've tried using the flatter keyboards because it seems the "tall" blocky ones are going out of style and I keep thinking there must be a reason for that. However, I cannot seem to get used to the flat ones. Time is not working. The problem seems to be that the taller blocky ones take longer to push a given key down, but this is a good thing because you have longer to respond to feedback and adjust if you are missing the target. I have kind of large hands such I need more feedback. It's hit or miss with flatty.

CategoryKeyboard, CategoryErgonomics

See also: DvorakKeyboard, ColemakKeyboard, OneFingerKeyboard, CarpalTunnelSyndrome, HandsFreeMouse

View edit of June 24, 2011 or FindPage with title or text search