In ergonomics, one size does not fit all. Did you know that a smaller keyboard can have big ergonomic benefits? That’s especially true if you have a smaller frame and don’t need a numpad to do your best work.
In essence, it’s because the reduced width of the keyboard lets you place your mouse closer to the center of your body as you work, and studies have shown that doing this provides a world of ergonomic benefits, including:
- More comfort and less muscle activity in the shoulderComputer mouse position as a determinant of posture, muscular load and perceived exertion. Karlqvist et al. 1998..
- Reducing shoulder movement by up to 50% when compared to a standard keyboardChanges in Upper Extremity Biomechanics across different mouse positions in a computer workstation. Dennerlein and Johnson, 2006.
- Encouraging a more neutral forearm, upper arm and neck postureComputer mouse position as a determinant of posture, muscular load and perceived exertion. Karlqvist et al. 1998.. A “neutral” posture means your joints are less compressed, helping to relax the related tissue and make you feel more comfortable as you work through the day.
Adding a matching palm rest can increase your comfort and improve your posture. That’s because contact with a hard surface, like a table, over longer periods, can compress the sensitive tissues and tendons in your wrists. A palm rest is kind of like a soft mattress, but for your hand! Remember, placement is key — so make sure it goes directly under the palm of your hand or under your forearm, but not under your wrist where it creates contact pressure.