Ask any executive secretary or freelance writer with an average typing speed of 80 words per minute, or higher, and you'll hear strong opinions of keyboards. The computer's keyboard not only controls the typist's word per minute productivity. It maintains healthy hands and wrists, reduces stress in the neck and shoulders, improves attitude, and even reduces fatigue.
Before you walk into a computer store and accept the computer keyboard that comes with a new system, or worse, ask 'what keyboards do you have for sale?'
The keyboard design directly influences the hand position, and posture of the typist. Erognomics magazine, published by Taylor & Francis, conducted a review of three erognomics keyboards.
Keyboard preference was evaluated by comparing two designs with the linear standard keyboard style. The Fixed alternative keyboard had a split angle of 12 degrees and a lateral inclination angle of 10 degrees.
The adjustable alternative keyboard had a 15 degree split setting, which resulted in a marked 42 degree of demiboard lateral inclination.
Sixteen typists, were given 10 hours of training on both keyboards. They were videotaped typing on all keyboard styles.
Forearm and wrist angles were significantly different among the three designs tested. Both alternative keyboards placed the forearm and wrist closer to the neutral position.
While the adjustable keyboard reduced pronation, but increased radial deviation. The Fixed keyboard kept the forearm in moderate pronation and the wrist close to neutral.
With respect to the standard keyboard, typing productivity was reduced by 10% on the Fixed and 20% on the adjustable designs.
The FIXED design offered only moderate changes to the standard keyboard. These changes promoted a more natural hand position while typing reducing the potential for trauma in the wrist. The FIXED design preserved a reasonable level of productivity and was well accepted by users.
There is multiple reviews that expound the virtues of wireless keyboards. The freedom they give the typist to change their position, or even move around the office when working, are unmatched. Of course, you need a talented typist to stand sit with a keyboard on her lap and transcribe directions - without the aid of a monitor.
However, the wireless keyboard's ability to easily shift around the work area improves productivity.
The task performed should dictate the type of keyboard used. A bookkeeper will benefit from a keyboard with a separate number pad.
One important factor that may business owners overlook when buying computer hardware for their office is the software. The Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser Mouse, Keyboard and MediaPad is a high end, great keyboard, number pad, mouse, and media pad. However, while the hardware is top end, the software that runs it prevent the hardware from working at top efficiency.
A sluggish mouse, or a styles that stops working, can result in multiple and long term, office time waste. Keyboards are not seen as 'important.' If they break down they are not sent to be repaired. Instead, the typist must 'make due' until they can jimmy, hack, or redirect the mouse or media pad and make it work again.
Taking time to buy the right keyboard for your office can improve attitude, productivity, and reduce down time.