Kinesis Keyboards

Written by Sierra Rein
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The word "kinetic" is a term used to describe the relation of an item to the concept of motion. When used in an ergonomic sense, it means the particular relationship of a material body (the hands, the back, the neck) with work-related motions like typing, lifting, and packing. Kinesis keyboards come in three different split models (Maxim, Contoured, and Evolution), all of which are made to reduce the chances of RSIs (repetitive stress disorders) and other upper body pains.

The Kinesis Maxim keyboard is a split keyboard, meaning that it has been divided down the middle with each half slightly separated from each other. The upper edge acts like a hinge, allowing for a wide range of positions. This design is extremely ergonomic and is much healthier for the wrists and forearms than standard flat keyboards, as they can be adjusted both in the split distance and in the lateral tilt.

Contoured Kinesis keyboards are also split; however, they offer a unique design not usually found in most types of ergonomic keyboards. These are designed with two separated concave key wells (to help position the arms at shoulder width with the wrists straight at the forearms) and feature a 20° lateral tilt for proper wrist alignment. The keys are laid out in vertical columns and are staggered in height to fit the natural variance in finger length. They come in US and non-US versions and can be connected to either PS/2 or USB ports.

The Ultimate in Adjustability

Evolution Kinesis keyboards are extreme examples of split keyboards, as they consist of two halves that can be separated from each other up to 20 inches in distance. When mounted on a track mount, the two halves can be "tented" between zero and 90°, while the rotation can be placed in an unlimited number of negative tilt angles. This keyboard comes with one to three integrated track pads (which negate the need for a separate computer mouse or trackball) and can be attached to the armrests of an office chair, combining comfortable back support with ergonomic ease.


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