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What Are Ergonomic Keyboards and How Do They Help?

Thursday, 17 October 2019

It's the Information Age, and we are spending more time than ever browsing the web and typing. Whilst it's fun connecting with people on social media or playing games online, using a keyboard can prove harmful when used for long periods of time.

Studies show that Carpal Tunnel and RSI have direct links to our time spent at the computer. If you have finger aches or wrist pain and you also spend a lot of time using a keyboard, you're probably in need of a new one. Here at Health and Care, we're dedicated to bringing you relevant health information and advice. In this blog post, we're going to explore Ergonomic Keyboards: what are they, and how do they help?

Ergonomic Keyboards for Pain, Strain and Disability

What Does Ergonomic Mean?

To make something "ergonomic", you are making it as efficient and comfortable as possible. For example, office chairs can be seen as an ergonomic modification of a standard chair as they are rotatable and have applications for leaning backwards and forwards. By making items ergonomic, we not only increase our satisfaction from using them but we make them more beneficial for our productivity. 

Why Do Keyboards Cause Carpal Tunnel and RSI?

Standard keyboards can cause a lot of stress to your fingers and wrist due to their lack of ergonomic design: typing causes your fingers to move in a repetitive and unnatural way, and your wrist twists in order to use the mouse and reach various keys. These repetitive actions may risk developing into Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), especially if you are using these types of keyboards for long periods of time.

  • RSI is a term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse. Pain, aching, stiffness, throbbing, tingling and numbness are all symptoms of RSI. Without treatment, these symptoms may eventually become constant and cause longer periods of pain. 
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is pressure on a nerve in your wrist. It causes tingling, numbness and pain in your hand and fingers. These symptoms seem to come and go, but at night they become worse. CTS often appears when you repeatedly bend your wrist or grip in jobs or hobbies.

What Do Ergonomic Keyboards Do?

In response to this problem, companies have developed Ergonomic Keyboards. These are specialist keyboards which are designed to ensure maximum comfort and minimum hand to wrist movement, increasing the rate at which you type and ensuring you are relaxed and pain-free.

What Type of Ergonomic Keyboard Should I Get?

Ergonomic Keyboards are available in a wide variety of options. These are dictated by:

  • Level of discomfort
  • Accessibility
  • Familiarity with design

In this post, we will explore the Maltron range of keyboards, specifically the L90 and L89 and their respective 2D and 3D models. 

What Are 2D and 3D Keyboards?

Maltron's range of Ergonomic Keyboards are available in two formats: 2D or 3D.

  • The 2D (or "flat") format is closer to a standard keyboard design. We would recommend the 2D design for people who are new to Ergonomic Keyboards and want to make the transition from a standard one. 
  • The 3D format is more ergonomically designed but might be intimidating to newcomers who have never used an Ergonomic Keyboard. They are shaped to fit the hands and fingers in a comfortable and non-restrictive fashion.

The Maltron L90 Range

This range of Ergonomic Keyboards are optimal keyboards for people who have never used a Maltron keyboard before. They are built with a new key positional layout that newcomers will find familiar to a standard keyboard.

Maltron L90 Dual-Hand Ergonomic 2D Flat Keyboard

Maltron L90 Dual-Hand Ergonomic Flat KeyboardThe Maltron L90 Dual-Hand Ergonomic 2D Flat Keyboard is designed to alleviate stress and reduce tension in the wrists and fingers. Catering for dual-handed people, the keyboard has built-in palm resting pads for relaxation and reduced fatigue, and a central number cluster to reduce finger movement and increase typing speed. The keyboard is available in a range of layouts, such as QWERTY or Dvorak, and models and can be purchased in either black or grey. This is a perfect entry-point for people who are curious about ergonomic keyboards and is available for both Mac and PC.

Key Features: Great entry level ergonomic keyboard; reduce fatigue and strain

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Maltron L90 Dual-Hand Ergonomic 3D Keyboard

Maltron L90 Dual Hand 3D Keyboard

The Maltron L90 Dual-Hand Ergonomic 3D Keyboard is the most ergonomically sound and accessible keyboard available to newcomers. Its 3D shape may appear intimidating in comparison to the standard 2D model, but it is designed to fit the shape of different hands and fingers with ease. This reduces hand and wrist movement, thereby decreasing your stress and increasing your productivity. Its tilted keys and pads minimise the downward movement of palms (pronation) and soothes muscle cramp, whilst its split design that eliminates wrist twists with a central number cluster, to be used with either your right or left hand. The keyboard is available in a range of layouts, such as QWERTY or Dvorak, and can models can be purchased in either black or grey.

Key Features: Best keyboard for newcomers to ergonomic keyboards; streamlined and user-friendly


The Maltron L89 Range

This range of Ergonomic Keyboards are keyboards for people who are familiar with Maltron products. They are built with the original Maltron key positional layout.

Maltron L89 Dual-Hand Ergonomic 2D Flat Keyboard

Maltron L89 Dual-Hand 2D KeyboardThe Maltron L89 Dual-Hand Ergonomic 2D Flat Keyboard is designed to alleviate stress and reduce tension in the wrists and fingers. Catering for dual-handed people, the keyboard has built-in palm resting pads for relaxation and reduced fatigue, and a central number cluster to reduce finger movement and increase typing speed. The keyboard is available in a range of layouts, such as QWERTY or Dvorak, and models and can be purchased in either black or grey. This is the perfect midway product for people have used Maltron before but don't want to go the full way for a 3D model. It is available for both Mac and PC.

Key Features: Midway ergonomic keyboard for dual hand use; type faster and easier with added comfort


Maltron L89 Dual-Hand Ergonomic 3D Keyboard

Maltron L89 Dual-Hand 3D Keyboard

The Maltron L89 Dual-Hand Ergonomic 3D Keyboard is for people familiar with Maltron products and want the full ergonomic experience. Its 3D shape may appear intimidating in comparison to the standard 2D model, but it is designed to fit the shape of different hands and fingers with ease. This reduces hand and wrist movement, thereby decreasing your stress and increasing your productivity. Its tilted keys and pads minimise the downward movement of palms (pronation) and soothes muscle cramp, whilst its split design that eliminates wrist twists with a central number cluster, to be used with either your right or left hand. The keyboard is available in a range of layouts, such as QWERTY or Dvorak, and can models can be purchased in either black or grey. It is available for both Mac and PC, and can be purchased with Trackpads for further ergonomic relief.

Key Features: Best ergonomic keyboard for previous customers of Maltron; streamlined and user-friendly, full ergonomic experience

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Choose the Right Ergonomic Keyboard 

Choosing the correct ergonomic keyboard is important, as different keyboards are built for different needs and stages of impairment. For more information on our range of keyboards, please see the Ergonomic Keyboards category on our website.

Have any questions? You can call our Customer Care Team at 020 7720 2266, or get in touch with us on FacebookTwitter, or leave us your thoughts below!

Tags: Arthritis, Visual Impairment, General Health, Repetitive Strain Injury