How to Pick the Best Ergonomic Keyboard

A woman types on a keyboard.

You can avoid stress injuries to your hands, wrist, and arms by using an ergonomic keyboard. To get as much as possible out of your ergonomic keyboard, look at these five features.

1. Split Keyboards

The most ergonomic keyboards have a split keyboard design. A standard QWERTY keyboard is divided down the center with the resulting keys arranged in a "V" shape. This places less stress on the wrists and is more natural for the arms. Consider what angle of "V" would be most comfortable for you. Some ergonomic keyboards barely angle the keys at all, while others place the keys at up to a 45-degree angle.

2. Adjustable

A woman types on a keyboard.

If you are not sure what angle of split keyboard would be best for you, find a keyboard with an adjustable angle. These tend to be more expensive than split keyboards with a set angle, but they will provide the flexibility to allow you to find the ideal angle on your keyboard.

3. Cost

Ergonomic keyboards tend to be more expensive than standard keyboards. However, it is generally worthwhile to spend the extra money, even you need to wait a while to save up for it. The price is negligible when you consider the long-term costs of stress injuries that can require expensive medication or even surgery.

4. Test Drive

A woman types on a keyboard.

Before purchasing an ergonomic keyboard, test the keyboard by sitting at a chair and desk similar in height to the ones you use at home. Though an in-store test drive cannot duplicate the results of using the keyboard over the course of several weeks or months, it will give you clues as to whether the keyboard will work for you. When the keyboard is placed directly in front of you, your wrists should be straight and in line with your arms, your elbows should remain close to your body, and your shoulders should be relaxed.

5. Laptop Ergonomics

If you use a laptop computer on a regular basis, use products to make your workstation more ergonomic. Try a lift that reduces neck strain by lifting the screen of the laptop above the keyboard and mouse, closer to your eye level, or use an external mouse to reduce wrist strain.