If you spend a lot of time typing, you know how important it is to have a workspace that minimizes distraction and physical stress, and maximizes efficiency. Many things contribute to this, including the type and position of the chair you sit in, the type of mouse you use, and the height and size of the display screen on your laptop or monitor. As technology and best practices change, though, our assumptions about how a workspace might be configured are changing as well. You might be using a touchpad more often than a mouse these days, and you might even have abandoned your chair altogether to work in a standing (or even walking!) position. But until voice-recognition software finally gets good enough to be a foolproof way of getting words into a clean and correctly-formatted document, the keyboard is still the way you’ll be typing your text.
As we discussed in a previous post, there are many ergonomic keyboards available, and it’s worth looking into some of them if you find that your hands, neck, or shoulders are not in the right position for typing. New keyboard configurations come out every year, so there are many to choose from. They range from simple keypads to standard QWERTY setups, and not all of them are designed with touch typing in mind. Here are some of the more interesting modern keyboards we’ve read about lately:
- a roll-up keyboard that’s easy to carry and easy to clean (QWERTY)
- a laser projection keyboard that turns any flat surface into a QWERTY layout
- a wrist keyboard that has a miniature QWERTY setup (not for touch typing, though)
- a radial keyboard that scrambles the keys out of QWERTY order (still in development)
- a keyboard that eliminates keys entirely
No matter which keyboard you choose, make sure that it allows you to keep your hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders in a natural and comfortable position. As your touch typing skills improve, you’ll find that it’s easier to keep your hands in a relaxed position, but the right keyboard will certainly help.