Microsoft Sculpt keyboard is my essential for relieving joint pain
After a much needed hypermobility diagnosis, my chronic hand and wrist pain helped me realize that I needed to rearrange my computer workspace if I wanted to continue writing. I loved my laptop for its portability, but long hours typing on its flat keyboard left me struggling to complete writing projects without intense pain. My keyboard had to change if I didn’t want my career to change.
My laptop’s keyboard made me bend my wrists at about a 45-degree angle to reach all of the keys, and studies have shown that typing at angles can lead to long-term damage. For me, typing at any angle meant I was putting unnecessary strain on my joints. My diagnosis showed me that I inadvertently forced my tendons and muscles to work harder while typing, resulting in aches and pains in less than half an hour. I’m also not a fan of mechanical keyboards – they’re too loud and bulky for my liking – so I looked for a membrane switch keyboard, which in my opinion doesn’t require as much force to activate the switches. .
My sister suggested the Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard, a split keyboard with a built-in wrist rest that she uses for her home workstation. The ergonomic design convinced me to buy it, along with its membrane switches, which promised hours of silent typing and required less pressure from my knuckles to activate the keyswitches.
Since I picked it up in April 2021, my Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard has helped me keep my finger tendons and joints healthy, as studies have also shown that long-term typing can damage the joints of my fingers. your fingers in the long run and aches in the short run too. With hypermobility, it’s not just the joints that need extra care – the tendons are also more prone to repetitive stress trauma. The Sculpt’s split design allows for ergonomic typing, so I don’t use the keys unnecessarily and cause further damage to my tendons and joints.
The membrane keys are soft and not too loud, and the accompanying ten-key keyboard and mouse (optional) are separate so I can move it anywhere in my home setup. And the whole time I’ve used it since April 2021, I haven’t changed the batteries yet.
Full Disclosure: My wrist pain was gone after doing this swap, although it wasn’t overnight. The Sculpt’s wrist rest tilts my wrists at a completely natural angle so that I can work without fear of short and long term damage to my wrists. My tendons don’t put extra effort to reach the keys during my eight plus hours of daily computer use, most of that typing. The set is usually a bit bulky, considering the touchpad and wrist rest, but its ergonomics allow me to sit in a more natural position during my work day and preserve my joints.
There are a few limitations to this keyboard: if I lose the dongle connecting my device to the laptop, for example, it’s impossible to replace – but the benefits of using such a comfortable keyboard outweigh this minor risk. me, especially since he never leaves my office.
It’s also not a catch-all for hypermobiles like me, but a tool to aid in long-term typing. That being said and despite being designed for a desktop environment, it’s so comfortable to use that I chose to use it for my gaming sessions – mechanical keyboards are for gamers, unlike the Sculpt’s membrane switches.
Other ergonomic keyboards to consider
With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reporting that 33% of its cases are related to musculoskeletal disorders, you may find it important to prioritize your ergonomic health in your typing workspace. If Microsoft Sculpt doesn’t seem like the best option for you, the good news is that there are plenty of keyboards to choose from.
Kinesis Freestyle Pro Split Mechanical Keyboard
If a set angle isn’t what you had in mind, this Kinesis option offers a wired split so you can tilt your keys to your personal preference. It offers a few different tent options to tilt your wrists if you prefer one for your typing experience. Unlike the Microsoft Sculpt keyboard, it also offers mechanical switches. Best of all, Mac users can use this keyboard because it is compatible with Apple computers.
If you are a gamer who uses your keyboard for business purposes, you can also go for the gaming model which provides RGB backlighting and is available in blue and red switch options.
Logitech Ergo K860 Ergonomic Wireless Keyboard
For those who need a more comfortable wrist rest, you may want to consider the Logitech Ergo Wireless Keyboard. The wrist rest provides an extra thick layer of support for those with wrist pain. Keep in mind that the wrist rest cannot be detached from this keyboard, but it is a high quality wrist rest. It is also a membrane keyboard similar to the membrane switches from Microsoft Sculpt.
Since it’s wireless with 2.4GHz Bluetooth connectivity, you can expect battery life to run for up to two years on a pair of AAA batteries.
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