5 On Your Side

5 On Your Side: Is your computer setup a pain in the neck or back or wrists?

Posted October 7, 2020 4:14 p.m. EDT
Updated October 8, 2020 2:44 p.m. EDT

Are the added hours in front of a computer giving you keyboard fatigue?

A lot of us have become attached to the feel of our keyboard, but the design could be causing you aches and pains.

The solution could be an ergonomic keyboard.

Most look a little weird, but that’s intentional. They’re carefully crafted to put less stress on your wrists, forearms, even your shoulders and back.

“What we found in our keyboard testing is that you get what you pay for," said Consumer Reports ergonomics expert Dana Keester. "The models we tested priced under $100 didn’t do nearly as well as those priced over $100.”

The odd-looking split keyboard, Kinesis Freestyle 2, actually got top ratings. The idea is that each half can be positioned in line with your shoulders. To get the greatest ergonomic benefit, Consumer Reports recommended buying the palm rest and tenting accessories that go with it.

The Logitech Keyboard also tested well for helping ease pains. It’s designed to take pressure off the wrists. The good news with Logitech Keyboards is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to get one.

The right mouse can also help your wrists.

Another recommended item is a battery-powered sculpt model mouse from Microsoft, although it’s only available for right-handers. Consumer Reports said a similar, wired mouse from Adesso works for right and left handers.

One last thing to keep in mind is that ergonomic keyboards and mouses take some getting used to, so give it some time and maybe don’t toss your hardware until you’re comfortable with the new stuff.

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