Ergonomic Keypads

Written by Sierra Rein
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Ergonomic keypads are essential tools for anyone who works with numbers on a daily, even hourly, basis. The most common layout of an ergonomic keypad contains at least 19 keys and includes the basic numbers (zero to nine) as well as a number of common calculation faculties. This kind of keypad is great for simple data entry work; however, there also exist 19-key pads designed with built in calculators containing separate, 12-key functions. A 32-key ergonomic keypad adds a number of other operational buttons, including classic word-processing options like the arrow, backspace, page up/down, number lock, insert, end, and delete keys.

Ergonomic keypads are incredibly important for the health and mental well being of typists, writers, computer programmers, data entry clerks, and accountants (to name a few). These people are more likely than the regular office worker to spend a lot of time inputting and crunching numbers into spreadsheets, bank accounts, tax forms, data entry and address book applications, and computer program modules. Without the use of ergonomic devices like these keypads, these people will undoubtedly suffer common repetitive stress injuries like tendonitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) as a normal part of their workday.

An ergonomic keypad should be placed on the desktop area at a comfortable level and angled so that the wrist is left in an unstrained position. Left-handed people can switch their keypads to the other side of the keyboard to relieve themselves of the aches and pains associated with hunching over "right-handed" keyboards. When connected to a computer or traveling laptop, a keypad with a USB adaptor can be used as instant secondary input device anywhere and at any time.

Ergonomic Keypads for High Volume Functionality

From an ergonomic standpoint, the challenge is to find ways to create easy shortcuts for all of the commonly typed words and tasks (especially those that will, ultimately, be repeated over and over throughout the day). To solve this problem, some computer accessory manufacturers have designed massive multi-key ergonomic pads that contain up to 60 or 100 programmable keys, any of which can be inputted with a sequence of keystrokes. This sequence is memorized by the computer and then assigned to a specific key on the pad. Once a die-cut paper legend guide is labeled and installed, the typist can save hours of input-command time throughout the day just by pushing a few simple buttons.

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