Mouse and Keyboard Ergonomics: How to Optimize Your Office Setup

Mouse and Keyboard Ergonomics

Mouse and Keyboard Ergonomics: How to Optimize Your Office Setup

Do you ever feel pain in your hands, wrists, or arms after using a computer for an extended period of time?

If so, you may need to optimize your mouse and keyboard ergonomics.

We’ll go over how to do it in this blog post!

We will cover the basics of mouse and keyboard ergonomics, as well as some tips on how to adjust your office setup for maximum comfort and productivity.

Ergonomic Keyboard & Mouse Considerations

Wrist Rest

In this section, we will discuss three important ergonomic considerations: keyboard type and layout; mouse size, shape and buttons.

Keep these key points in mind as you explore ergonomic keyboard and mouse!

Keyboard Type and Layout

The standard keyboard layout is not always the most ergonomic option.

If you are experiencing pain in your hands, wrists or arms, it may be worth considering a different keyboard type or layout.

There are many different types of keyboards available on the market, so do some research to find the best option for you.

Some keyboards have split designs, which can help to reduce tension in your hands and wrists.

There are also many different layouts available, so be sure to choose one that is best suited for your needs.

Mouse Size, Shape and Buttons

The size and shape of your mouse are important factors to consider when setting up an ergonomic workstation.

A mouse that is too large or small can cause discomfort and pain in your hands, wrists and arms.

Make sure you choose the right size for you by measuring the distance between your thumb and index finger on both sides of hand when holding it out straight (this will give an idea about how big a mouse should be).

You may also want to consider the shape of the mouse.

Some mice are designed with a contoured shape to fit the natural curves of your hand, while others are more rectangular in shape.

The number of buttons on your mouse is also important to consider.

A mouse with extra buttons can help you to perform tasks more efficiently, but if you find them uncomfortable or difficult to use, you may want to opt for a model with fewer buttons.

In the next section, we will provide tips for choosing & setting up your mouse and keyboard ergonomically.

Choosing the right keyboard for you

A keyboard is a device that works along with the mouse to input data into your computer.

The design of keyboards varies from one model to another, but most of them have keys arranged in rows and columns on either side of an alphanumeric keypad (numbers 0 through nine).

Most models also contain modifier keys such as Shift Lock and Caps Lock as well as function keys like F11 or F12.

The most appropriate keyboard is one that matches your usage, how much time you spend on the computer and how often you travel.

Here are few ergonomic keyword types to consider.

Split Keyboard

Split Keyboard

The split keyboard is designed to reduce the tension on your hands and wrists by separating the keys into two or more sections.

The standard QWERTY keyboard layout is not always the most ergonomic option, so it’s worth considering a split keyboard if you experience pain in these areas.

Split keyboards typically come in two varieties: fixed and adjustable.

Fixed split keyboards cannot be adjusted to fit the user’s needs, while adjustable split keyboards can be tailored exactly to the user.

If you’re a person with a broad chest, an adjustable split keyboard’s ability to alter the distance between the two halves of the board may be beneficial..

This ensures the elbows are not too close together when typing.

Arc Keyboard

Microsoft Arc Wireless Keyboard

The arc keyboard is similar to the split keyboard, but its design curves around your fingers and allows for a more natural position.

The ergonomic benefits of an arc keyboard include:

Decreases unnatural wrist positioning (ulnar deviation)

Reduces pressure on median nerve due to carpal tunnel syndrome by reducing wrist extension during data entry tasks

Eliminates the need for a palm rest

The arc keyboard is available in both wired and wireless models, but it is not as common as the split keyboard.

If you are interested in this type of keyboard, be sure to do some research to find a model that best suits your needs.

Contoured Keyboard

Contoured Keyboard

A contoured keyboard is designed to minimize pressure on the wrists and hands by creating a more natural position.

The design of this type of keyboard allows users to rest their palms in a neutral position while typing, which decreases strain on the tendons that run through these areas.

This style also has several benefits such as reduced muscle fatigue due to less movement, and improved typing speed and accuracy.

A contoured keyboard typically has a split design that separates the keys into two halves, which allows each hand to rest in a more comfortable position.

The downside of this type of keyboard is that it can be difficult to use for people who are not used to its layout.

It may also take some time to get used to the different key placement.

Keyboard Placement Considerations

The right keyboard placement is important for your comfort and productivity.

It also helps you maintain a neutral wrist position, which reduces strain on the tendons of your hands and wrists.

Here are few ergonomic keyboard setup tips:

Keyboard Placement – Height

The height of your keyboard is important because it affects the angle at which you hold your wrists while typing.

If it’s too high or low, this can lead to strain on tendons and muscles in these areas resulting in pain over time.

It’s recommended that you keep the top edge of your keyboard level with the creases where your wrists bend.

The height of the keyboard can be adjusted by using a keyboard tray or an adjustable chair and desk surface to bring it up or down as needed.

The right height depends on several factors including your typing style, arm length and posture when sitting at workstation all day long so you need to find what works best for you by trial and error.

If you can’t adjust the height of your keyboard, you may want to try a different style that is more adjustable, such as a split or arc keyboard.

Keyboard Placement – Distance From Your Body

The distance between the keyboard and your body has a big impact on ergonomics.

If it’s too far away, you have to reach out with arms when typing which can cause strain over time but if it’s too close then this is also bad because you’re hunched over more than normal.

The ideal placement depends on several factors, such as arm length and the height of your keyboard.

A good way to find the right distance is to measure from the tips of your fingers to your elbow.

This should be about the same distance as the keyboard is from your body.

You may also need to adjust this depending on how you are sitting at your workstation.

If you are sitting too far away from your desk, you can try using a keyboard tray to bring the keyboard closer.

If you are sitting too close, you may want to use an adjustable chair or desk surface to move it further away.

Keyboard Placement – Angle

Keyboard Placement – Angle

The angle of your keyboard can also affect comfort and productivity.

The keys should be at a 90-degree angle to your fingers for the most natural position.

If they are not, you will have to adjust your wrists to reach them and this can cause pain over time.

You may need to adjust the tilt of your keyboard by raising or lowering the front edge using a keyboard tray or an adjustable chair and desk surface.

Keyboard Placement – Laptop Users

Laptop users are at risk of experiencing pain and discomfort due to the nature of this type keyboard.

The keys are often smaller than those on a desktop computer, which means you may have to adjust your finger positions frequently when typing at length.

This can result in strain over time if not done properly.

Another issue is that laptops don’t offer much adjustability in terms of height, angle or distance from your body so it makes them more difficult to use comfortably for long periods of time.

If you are using a laptop as your primary workstation then consider investing in an external keyboard and mouse setup with ergonomic features like those described above.

Choosing The Right Mouse

Choosing the right mouse can help you avoid pain and injury while working on your computer.

Here are some tips to consider when selecting a mouse:

Size of Mouse

The size of your hand is important in choosing the right mouse because it affects how well you can grip it and use all its features without strain or discomfort over time.

For example, a mouse that is too small may be difficult to use for those with larger hands.

Mouse Grip

There are three main types of mouse grips: palm, claw and fingertip.

The grip you choose should fit the size of your hand and how you hold the mouse.

For example, if you have a large hand and prefer to use a palm grip, you will want to choose a mouse that is designed for this type of grip.

Mouse Features

Some mice offer more features than others, such as buttons on the side or a scroll wheel.

If you plan to use these features frequently, it’s important to find a mouse that offers them.

For example, if you often use the side buttons to quickly navigate through web pages, you’ll want a mouse with those features.

Mouse Pointer

The size and shape of the mouse pointer can also affect your comfort and productivity when working on your computer.

A large pointer is easier to see and track than a small one, so if you have difficulty seeing the pointer on your screen, you may need to adjust its size or change the color from black to white.

Mouse Pointer – Color

A large pointer is easier to see and track than a small one, so if you have difficulty seeing the pointer on your screen, you may need to adjust its color from black or white.

Mouse Placement Considerations

There are also a few things to consider when placing your mouse on your workstation:

Distance from Keyboard

The distance between the mouse and keyboard should be about the same as the distance between your ngers and elbow.

This should be about the same distance as the keyboard is from your body.

You may also need to adjust this depending on how you grip the mouse.

Angle of Mouse

Mouse Pads

The mouse should be placed at a right angle to your arm to avoid twisting your wrist when you reach for it.

You may also need to adjust the height of the mouse depending on how you grip it and how tall you are.

Surface Type

The best surface type for your mouse depends on how you hold it.

If you use a palm grip, then any surface that is smooth and not too hard will work well.

If you use a fingertip grip, then the best surface type would be one with some texture to help “grip” your fingertips while moving around on it without slipping off or sliding easily when pressing down buttons (such as when clicking).

Mouse Pads

Mouse Grip

A mouse pad can help reduce wrist strain and improve tracking accuracy.

The best type of mouse pad to use depends on how you hold your mouse.

If you palm grip, then any smooth surface will work well; however if you fingertip grip it’s important that the texture helps “grip” your fingertips.

Wrist Rest

Wrist Rest

A wrist rest can help keep your wrists in a neutral position while using the mouse and keyboard.

This is especially important if you have pain or discomfort in your wrists when using a computer for extended periods of time.

Adjustable Keyboard Tray

An adjustable keyboard tray can help you optimize your computer setup for comfort and productivity.

Some features to consider when choosing a keyboard tray include:

Height Adjustment

The height of the keyboard tray should be adjustable so that you can position it at the correct height relative to your chair and desk.

This will help reduce strain on your neck, shoulders and arms.

Tilt Angle

The keyboard tray should allow you to adjust the tilt angle of the keyboard from 0 degrees (flat) up to 30 degrees or more depending on your preference and needs.

This will help reduce strain on your wrists and fingers while typing as well as improve blood flow in these areas by keeping them at a slight downward angle.

Swivel Feature

The keyboard tray and mouse board should be able to swivel independently of each other so that you can adjust them to the most comfortable position for you.

This is especially important if you are using a laptop as your primary computer and want to be able to move the keyboard and mouse closer together or further apart.

Recommended Products

Best Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse Set Up Tips

Our ergonomic recommendations for keyboard and mouse setup focus on reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and other repetitive strain injuries. These include:

Mouse, keyboard and screen position

The mouse and keyboard should be positioned directly in front of you, with the keyboard centered on your body.

This will help to reduce strain on your shoulders, neck and arms.

Your screen should also be directly in front of you, at eye level to avoid straining your eyes.

You may need to adjust the position of your screen if you are using a laptop as this will have different screen height and distance from the keyboard compared with a desktop computer.

Keep the mouse and keyboard at about elbow height

 

To reduce strain on your shoulders, neck and arms, it is important to position the mouse and keyboard at about elbow height.

This will likely require adjustment of your chair and desk height.

The best position for your mouse is to use it directly below where you type on the keyboard, so that when typing there is no need to turn or move your wrist.

This will help reduce strain on your hand and wrist.

Place the mouse and keyboard at arm’s length in front of the desk.

The mouse and keyboard should be placed at a distance that is comfortable for you to reach, but not so far away that you have to strain in order to use them.

This will help reduce strain on your shoulders, neck and arms.

You should keep keyboard and mouse within easy reach of each other.

This will help reduce strain on your wrists as well as avoid awkward wrist bends when switching between the two devices.

Placing the keyboard at arm’s length in front of you also makes it easier to see what is being typed, which can improve accuracy and speed up typing times.

Keep your wrists straight, not bent up or down.

Keep the mouse and keyboard at about elbow height (2)

As much as possible, try to keep your wrists straight when using the keyboard and mouse.

This will help reduce strain on your hands, fingers and arms.

The best position for typing is with the elbows by your sides in a relaxed position, not outstretched or raised up high like some people have them when they type.

If you find that your wrists are starting to bend up or down while typing, it may be helpful to adjust the height of your keyboard tray or chair.

When not typing, rest your hands and wrists.

It is important to rest your hands and wrists when they are not being used.

You should be relaxed while typing and hovering over the keyboard will put unnecessary strain on your arms, shoulders and neck.

If possible, try to avoid this by adjusting the height of your chair or desk so that it fits comfortably underneath you without needing any extra effort from you.

Wrist rests and armrests should only be used while resting, not while typing.

If you are using a wrist rest or armrest, it should only be used while resting your hands and wrists.

This means that they must never touch the surface of a keyboard while typing because this will put unnecessary strain on your arms, shoulders and neck.

It is best to avoid any kind of support under the desk when typing so that there are no distractions from typing.

If you have armrests in your chair then they should also never touch the surface of a keyboard while typing.

Armrests can be useful if they provide adequate support without causing discomfort or strain to any part of the body.

If you use a keyboard tray, make sure it’s the right one for you.

If you use a keyboard tray, make sure it’s the right one for your body height and size.

The ideal keyboard tray should be at elbow height when seated with arms resting on the armrests of an office chair or desk.

Keyboard trays should never touch any part of a computer screen or monitor because this can cause strain to your neck.

The tray should also be wide enough to accommodate both your keyboard and mouse without having to place the mouse on the desk above the keyboard.

If you do not have a wide enough keyboard tray, then you may end up placing the mouse above on the desk and stretching unnaturally to use it.

This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck.

Sit center to keyboard and mouse.

If possible, try to sit center for your keyboard and mouse.

This will help reduce strain on shoulders, arms, hands as well as neck muscles.

When you are seated at your desk, the center of the keyboard should be directly in front of you and the mouse placed to the right of the keyboard.

If this is not possible because your chair or desk is too large or small, then try to adjust yourself so that these items are as close to centered as possible.

You can align yourself with the center of the keyboard by looking at the “B” key.

Use External Keyboard and Mouse For laptop

If you use laptop, it is best to use an external keyboard and mouse.

This will help to reduce the amount of pressure placed on your wrists and fingers when typing.

The external keyboard can be positioned at elbow height with the mouse in front of it or to the right side (for left-handed people).

If this is not possible for you, then try using a laptop stand which will raise up the level of your screen so that your neck muscles do not have to strain so much as they would otherwise be if you were looking down at the screen.

It is important to remember that laptops have not been designed for prolonged use with physical ergonomics in mind.

When using a laptop, follow the tips above for mouse and keyboard placement in order to reduce strain on your wrists as well as avoid straining your neck or shoulders.

FAQs

If you use a computer for any length of time, then it is best to use an ergonomic keyboard as often as possible.

An ergonomic keyboard can help reduce strain on your wrists and hands while typing or using a mouse.

The purpose of an ergonomic keyboard is to help reduce strain on the body while typing or using a mouse. They are designed to fit the natural curvature of your hands and wrists, as well as adjust to different body types.

If you are experiencing wrist pain, it is best to consult with a doctor before using an ergonomic keyboard. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may not be able to use an ergonomic keyboard and may require alternative methods for reducing strain on your wrists.

If you use a computer for any length of time, then an ergonomic keyboard is for you!

Ergonomic keyboards are designed to fit the natural curvature of your hands and wrists. They also adjust to different body types so that they can be used by people with larger or smaller hands as well as those who type more slowly or quickly than others.

Vertical ergonomic keyboards have been designed to be used with a laptop and are positioned at elbow height. They have also been designed to reduce the amount of pressure placed on your wrists when typing. Horizontal ergonomic keyboards have been designed to be used with a desktop computer and are generally larger than vertical ergonomic keyboards.

The Logitech K350 is one of the most popular and well-known ergonomic keyboards available today, but it is not necessarily the best for everyone due to its size and weight (it's very heavy). If you have a smaller hand than other options such as Microsoft's Sculpt or Logitech K350 may be better suited to your needs.

Conclusion

Mouse and keyboard ergonomics are important for reducing discomfort and strain while using a computer.

If you use a computer frequently, it’s important to make sure your setup is as comfortable as possible.

This includes using an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, which can help reduce strain on your wrists, hands, and neck.

By following the tips in this article, you can optimize your computer setup for comfort and productivity.

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Mouse and Keyboard Ergonomics: How to Optimize Your Office Setup
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