Split keyboards: healthy and flexible

The split keyboard is a fairly rare type of keyboard. The name says it all: a split keyboard is divided into 2 parts. The parts can be joined together or placed separately on your desk. Do you find this difficult to envisage? Read on!

Ergonomically responsible typing

The keyboard plays a major role in the occurrence of RSI complaints. The increased risk is mainly due to the type of keyboard and the posture that you unconsciously adopt. With a standard keyboard, the forearms and wrists are twisted, the hands are tilted, and there is a large reach distance to the mouse. This leads to stress on the muscles and tendons. Due to its clever shape, the split keyboard can offer solutions to these problems.

 

Fixed split keyboards

With the fixed split keyboard, the 2 halves of your keyboard are placed slightly apart, at an angle. The angle between these halves differs per keyboard. Often this angle cannot be adjusted, as in the left image below.

Because each person’s body shape is unique, there is no single, ideal angle for the keyboard. For example, a broad person bends their wrists more than a person with a slimmer build. Therefore, there are also fixed split keyboards that allow the user to adjust the angle between the 2 halves of the keyboard to suit their own specific requirements and working posture.

Fully split keyboards

The fully split keyboard goes a step further in terms of adjustability. This type of keyboard consists of 2 separate parts. A big advantage of this design is that the keyboard can be adjusted to suit any desired posture.

For example, you can place the 2 separate parts of the keyboard in line (instead of at an angle) with the armrests. During typing, the forearms rest comfortably on the armrests of the office chair. This allows the elbows to rest directly under the shoulders, ensuring relaxation of the shoulder muscles. This arrangement prevents bent wrists.

To avoid having to tilt your hands while typing, it is important to choose a keyboard that is as flat as possible.

Pros and cons

A big advantage of both types of split keyboards is that you do not suffer from RSI due to twisted wrists: the wrists remain straight during typing. Most split keyboards have a slim design or wrist support. The hands do not need to tilt during typing. This natural wrist posture reduces strain on the tendons.

If you choose a fully split keyboard there is an additional advantage. For right-handed mouse users, you operate the mouse as an extension of the forearm which relieves the shoulder. This is not possible with a fixed keyboard. In this case, users need to reach across to the mouse.

Everything you need to know about ergonomic keyboards

For typing issues, the split keyboard is not the only ergonomic solution. Would you like to compare all the different options? Download our white paper ‘Ergonomic Keyboards’.

Tags: whitepaper, ergonomic keyboards