I am trying to find the most ergonomic keyboard available as I am on the computer quite a lot.
My partner has both Microsoft and Logitech versions and each has strengths and irritations. I personally find them clumsy. Those who ‘touch type’ without looking would have different experiences and preferences. I stick to the traditional ‘bar’ style keyboards with a preference for Logitech products. Gamers have different needs. There are also products that are separate left and right halves that some apparently like.
I suggest getting recommendations about the ergo keyboards and ‘blindly’ ordering one from those recommendations could be a disservice as compared to going into a shop where one could try them. Their utility is more ‘individual’ than you might expect because of differing spacing, tactile feel, and so on.
Keyboards are a bit of a speciality for Choice but core for media like PC Magazine - that might be helpful.
I regard keyboards as a consumable item now. So many have gone to e-heaven under my watch. My nod to ergonomics is to set up a Blue Tooth or Wireless keyboard & mouse so I can move these independent of the laptop or monitor. I also do a lot of work with figures, so prefer an integrated keypad - something the laptops don’t have.
Noise is also important. I found the Logitech bundled with my desktop, was too “clacky”, the first Microsoft BT keyboard was a soft touch with no “click”. It was keys only, very thin; no rests, top area, or ledges, and I could easily pick it up with one hand width (small hands). The others were wider and required either two hands or thumb & fingers on an edge. Important if you move around a bit.
Regardless of all this, I ended up at the Physio, only to discover my woes were caused by my use of the mouse on a “too high” desk with the wrong angle on my shoulder. Solution, higher chair and monitor on top of a pile of books.
Our rural Physio will do home visits to advise on your home office or anything else. Worth asking your Physio for a session at their rooms, to advise on posture, exercises, adjustments.
I have never used the “ergonomic” keyboards, so I can’t comment.
Height is a matter that is ignored too often when setting up a workstation. No matter what your keyboard or mouse (trackball etc) are like if they are too high you are going to strain your shoulders by holding your wrists and forearm too high. If the keyboard is much too high you increase risk of strain injury around the wrist too. Similarly if your monitor is the wrong height you will get neck problems.
Keyboard and mouse should be such that your forearm is horizontal from your elbow. Your monitor should be so that the centre of the screen is a hand-width below your eyes.
You really need to try the keyboard for yourself in order to decide which is best for you. There are plenty of ‘ergonomic’ options around, from the split keys model to the Dvorak which simply changes the layout of keys to put the most used ones in the easiest locations to reach.
I would never go with either of these options, as I learned to touch type many decades ago and these would cramp my style. Instead I use a mechanical keyboard (with loud, clicky keys) that gives me physical feedback whether a key has been properly depressed or not. (I admit it: I’m a gamer.)
Personal preference is key to your keyboard choice. Go into a shop and find something that feels right. Even better, use the suggestion from @zackarii and get an expert to check your computer layout to ensure it is ergonomically ideal. Physiotherapists may recommend specific equipment, but often focus on changes you can make to your current setup that will make it easier to work with.
I agree with the spirit of the preceding posts. Everyone’s requirements are different depending on what you use the keyboard for (apps, games, programming, social media, etc); on your individual postural requirements; how you type; do you need additional buttons for quick access; and so on.
The only way to find out what is best for you is to try different keyboards until you find one that works for you. Be prepared to move on if one doesn’t work for you, or makes you tired or sore. Keep trying until you find the Goldilocks keyboard.
I couldn’t agree more. Back when I was a coder, I generally used an IBM mechanical keyboard, but these days , I’m always on the lookout for a more comfortable keyboard for the type of work & play that I do now.
At work, I use an older HP KU-1060 that has a key shape, feel, and travel that I like. At home I use an older USB narrow (no numeric keypad) Apple keyboard. If I come across something better for either use-case, I’ll change.