One day I suspect that those pain are result of my overall bad health(from sitting in front of screen for years and years) and have little to no exercise at all and not just single cause, and decide that I had enough and start training everyday in the morning — getting stronger, fitter, lift weight, loss weight, eat better, drink more water, more sleep. less stress — all kind of things I never to before in my life. I'm the worst person when comes to exercise, but feel I have to change my habit, or else I'll deep in this life of pain forever.
I found that's work for me! I don't feel pain anymore, I feel much fitter and healthier overall. Better than any ergonomics keyboard or mouse out there.
Anyway, good tools is still better than bad tools I guess.
For keyboard, I used to use tenkeyless Logitech gaming keyboard. Good keyboard, but I found that it is too big for my hand and have to stretch my pinky finger to reach the modifier keys all the time, which made my hand sore after just a few hours. I then switch to another quality keyboard: the Apple Magic keyboard and really happy about it since it have a lot less key travel. Really good keyboard except the weird directional key layout that need to get used to.
I realise this isn't really 'ergonomics' but they help so much I have to recommend them. The body is not designed to sit for hours on end.
Check the temperature of your working environment. Cold joints can be the cause of or exacerbate various issues. Wearing gloves may help if you can’t control the climate. A personal heater can be another good option, but make sure the heat is indirect (pointed at a wall for example) to avoid other issues from prolonged exposure.
I use a keyboard arm with negative incline positioned at a height so that my elbows are at 90° and my wrists point slightly downward. (Height of the keys relative to the wrist rest should be as close to equal as possible.) This is the opposite of what most people do with the terrible kickstands that come with keyboards. I find that the more negative incline I can get the better. My current setup allows for 20-30° Of downward wrist incline. A typical keyboard tray or palm rest will not do this, as the height from the desktop must be adjustable and it must hold the keyboard in place. Mine grips the keyboard to hold it in place.
I personally find that a trackpad is good at preventing some rsi because you can use it in a variety of positions and it forces you to stretch all of your fingers when it is below the keyboard. For my keyboard arm I designed and 3d printed a mount for an apple magic trackpd that holds it below the keyboard making it much like a laptop. This had the added benefit of keeping my fingers on home row which is more efficient.
Remapping modifiers on the keyboard is extremely helpful for reducing strain on some fingers. Things like spacemacs or ergodox which use thumbs are great. Vim keybindings help a lot too and I have almost everything vimified.
Having a large (40”+ for 4k) monitor prevents you from leaning in to read small text or “hunching over” the keyboard. (poor elbow and back alignment) The same can be done by using a larger font or lower resolution at the cost of more keystrokes for navigating long files or between apps.
Taking breaks and changing positions frequently helps of corse. (Use a sit stand desk, try kneeling on a soft mat occasionally if your desk goes low enough.)
Drink a lot of water. Hydration helps almost any bodily issue to some extent and I find that my productivity is significantly impacted by dehydration and greatly increased when I drink a lot. Soda is fine but offset the dehydration from it with extra water. This has the added benefit of forcing you to take breaks.
- A trackball that is 'semi-vertical' in orientation. I use logitech's M570. I am considering switching to a fully vertical orientation trackball or a vertical mouse.
- A significant help was having an ergonomic specialist visit my desk at work and help me understand how to sit correctly, how to adjust the chair correctly, at what height the monitor ought to be set up etc. Most of my pains went away after this.
- Another factor to bear in mind is that no amount of 'conscious effort' will help maintain posture as much as a few minutes of exercises done regularly. When I do some basic compound movements even with light-weights, my posture naturally gets better without me even having to think about it.
An Evoluent VerticalMouse.
Between the 2 products, my wrists, forearms, and elbows stay in totally natural positions. My wrists don’t need to bend at all to type or mouse.
I refuse to use keyboards that have palmrests that reach far enough to negatively impact my wrists. I also greatly prefer palm rests that have a rounded front edge.
At the same time, when using a traditional computer keyboard (not a laptop), I have a palmrest that lines up with the heels of my palms.
I switched to lower profile keys that have accurate and comfortable registration.
Back when I was in cubeland, I deliberately got up and moved around every half hour or so, unless I managed to gain intent focus (not so easy, in cubeland).
I have since switch to the Logitech MX Ergo trackball mouse along with a mechanical keyboard (silent reds and topre works well for me)
- good chair for back strength (takes some time to sit on this a whole day): Löffler Rodeo, https://www.pape-rohde.de/produkt/872/loeffler-sedlo-1-m-sit...
- Trackball mouse: Logitech M570 (makes work even faster and you are more accurate)
- Kinesis Advantage 2 Keyboard + wristpads
Best start for me was the chair + getting away from bad isolated window
An ergonomist recommended this mouse to me and it's been really good for me (better than the Logitech MX Master I had been using): https://handshoemouse.com.
Also, setting my desk height properly helped, I think. It's hard to find desks that are low enough but I bought an Ikea adjustable height desk that goes low enough so that my elbow is level with my hands when typing.
From the photo it looks like I'd be mousing with arm muscles instead of finger/wrist.
I’ve swapped between various split keyboards over the years, starting with the beta version of the Microsoft Natural keyboard - sadly most of these have a number pad and that creates a mouse reach issue for some. These days I use a ten key less gaming keyboard.
Also small free weights to exercise arms frequently during the day at the desk seem to help.
Of course, when I am travelling, I use my MacBook Pro 2017, and it just simply sucks when it comes to ergonomics.
i should probably sort out some kind of standing / kneeling desk, been ignoring ergonomic desk setup after changing job a few months ago.
Tools to fix it:
Fully standing desk
Kinesis Freestyle Edge split keyboard
Logitech trackball mouse
Weight Lifting Gym membership
I use a 48 key keyboard (an OLKB Planck) which massively cuts down on hand travel and typing strain. Arrow and navigation keys, a numpad, all the function keys, every symbol I use whem programming, and various OS controls (volume, media controls, screen brightness, etc.) are all easily reachable without changing the position of my hands. I also chose to program all the modifier keys to work both as normal when held down and in a similar fashion to sticky keys when just tapped. For example, holding down shift and typing a letter works as normal, but hitting shift followed by a letter accomplishes the same result, meaning that capital letters and punctuation don't really interrupt the flow of typing or require chording.
I also have rather resistive keyswitches (nominally 185g, ~170g in actuality) which was of ergonomic benefit to me. I wouldn't expect it to help most people, but it helped me learn to type without bottoming out the switches. Starting out, the heavier springs caught me before reaching the bottom. Now I type in a much gentler fashion, even if peak force is greater than on a standard keyboard.
Moving down to 48 keys can seem intimidating, but I adjusted rather quickly. It only took me about a couple weeks to become comfortable with the layout changes (staggered keys to a grid layout and Workman instead of QWERTY). I believe that part of the reason it was such an easy transition was because I changed the layout whenever I had trouble adjusting to it. I had wanted to place the underscore on the same key as F in a QWERTY layout to make typing snake_case identifiers easier, but kept hitting the adjacent equals key instead. I could have pushed through it, but I embraced what my brain clearly felt was right whenever a similar thing happened and picked up the layout much quicker than I expected.
Another common concern is losing competence with a normal keyboard or standard layout, but at least in my case that hasn't been an issue. I can switch back and forth between a 2013 Macbook QWERTY keyboard and my customized one with no issues, and I often switch from QWERTY to Workman on my laptop depending on how much I'm writing. Occasionally I'll switch layouts mid-sentence when I realize I'll be going into more depth than I expected.
I find this configuration very interesting. Had not heard of this before, but would be very interested in trying it out.