Alternative Keyboards

Written by Sierra Rein
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The purpose behind most alternative keyboards is to provide another choice other than standard keyboards, especially those responsible for typing injuries like repetitive stress and cumulative trauma disorders. Those who are disabled by muscle weakness, nerve damage, or arthritis utilize higher-end alternative boards. However, many cheaper, lower-end models are also available to office workers, writers, receptionists, and computer programmers who have to type at their computers for long periods of time.

The three most popular alternative keyboard designs are fixed-split, contoured, and adjustable-split keyboards. All three of these styles divide the keys of the board into at least two separate sections that are angled to better support and straighten the bones of the wrists. Contoured keyboards feature two concave, curved wells that correspond to the natural movement and lengths of the fingers and thumbs. Compared to standard keyboards, a typist's fingers do not have to travel as much on a contoured one.

An adjustable-split keyboard takes the basic shape of the fixed-split keyboard and turns it on its head. The sections can be tilted and raised into any number of ergonomic positions, allowing the user to arrive at a comfortable and healthy typing position. Another kind of adjustable-split keyboard is the vertical type that takes the standard keyboard, splits it in two sections, and turns them upright so that the wrists type in the same position as they would if they were about to shake someone's hand.

Buying Alternative Keyboards for the Workplace

These keyboards are also great for individual computer users who work for themselves or enjoy typing for hours at a time at home. If purchased, most purchases of ergonomic keyboards usually count as business expenses at the end of the tax year.

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