The Best Ergonomic Keyboards and Mouses to Prevent Wrist Pain

Photo-Illustration: Kinesis

If you spend the majority of your workday staring at a computer screen, you’ve probably developed

or, even worse, a

bad back. And the constant clacking on a keyboard or clicking on a mouse“The wrong mouse-and-keyboard setup can wreak physical havoc on your hand, wrist, and forearm,” says Dr. Scott Weiss, a physical therapist and board-certified athletic trainer. The incorrect wrist position can have a number of serious consequences. also doesn’t help matters much. Consider carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes tingling on the side of your hand, as explained. Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo, an orthopedic and spinal surgeon. According to chiropractor Dr. Emily Kiberd of the Cleveland Clinic, a weak grip “is tied to shoulder stability, or lack thereof, in turn leading to tightness in the upper traps and neck.” Urban Wellness Clinic.. Weiss says that “too much wrist flexion” — a fancy way of saying bending — “can undoubtedly cause pain and nerve compression,” and that even a simple movement like reaching your pinky too far out over your keyboard or mouse can damage cartilage in your wrist over time.

The good news is that these long-term typing injuries can be avoided, especially with the right equipment.ergonomic desk setupNonetheless, you should probably understand the proper wrist position in the first place. According to physiotherapists, many of us who use laptops tend to hover our hands over the keyboard with our wrists extended. Lyndsay HirstAs a result, a However, Hirst points out that due to the way most laptop mice are set up, this isn’t always possible. , but resting them is the best option. wireless keyboard or Bluetooth mouseDirector of industrial medicine Joseph Santillo (or both) could be an essential work-at-home accessory. “Your keyboard should be positioned in such a way that the wrists are pointed straight and not duck-footed outward or pigeon-toed inward,” Okubadejo advises. ReLive Physical TherapyConsider the advice of Carrie Schmitz, a wellness-and-ergonomic research manager at Microsoft, when purchasing a new keyboard or mouse. , believes that finding a mouse that can be used with either hand will alleviate some of the strain. Ergotron“What you need to do is position the equipment in relation to your body so that you’re not in any kind of awkward position.” posture.” 

While there are many products on the market that claim to be ergonomic, promising to keep your posture while you type, not all of them are effective. So we talked to a variety of experts, from physical therapists to trainers and ergonomists, to help you find supportive office gear like ergonomic keyboards, vertical mice, and more to help you avoid wrist pain (and carpal tunnel).

Best ergonomic keyboards

“The last thing you want is to have your shoulders curled inward for long periods of time,” he says, “as this can cause a lot of problems and lead to chronic pain.” This keyboard allows you to adjust your hand position according to the width of your shoulders, allowing you to keep your shoulder in line with your wrists. A split keyboard may appear odd, but according to Weiss, it helps you maintain your natural alignment.

[Editor’s note: While this keyboard is currently only available on Amazon, you can get it for a little more at Office Depot.]

“The V-shape of the keyboard always reduces wrist stress,” says Okubadejo. Here’s another one that appears to be a little odd: He suggests looking for a keyboard with an adjustable angle, with the best ergonomic ones having a split keyboard design that “allows for a more natural position for the arms.” The ability to change configurations both vertically and horizontally, according to Okubadejo, can help reduce discomfort during the day.

This Logitech keyboard is recommended by Okubadejo, Kiberd, and Hirst, as well as our tech writer. Jordan Bowman previously called “a great budget pick for a high-end keyboard“So, what makes it unique?” “It also has a wrist rest that provides wrist support, as well as asymmetrical keys that make it easier to navigate the keyboard,” he adds. The curved keyframe, according to Okubadejo, can help you improve your typing posture by putting your forearms, fingers, and wrists in a more natural position.

While not all keyboards have number pads these days, Schmitz recommends looking for one with a separate number pad, such as this one, if you use one for work on a regular basis. “The further away your arm is from your waist, the more risk you’ll be exposed to.” “What happens with mouse use for many of us is that over the course of minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years, we can have quite a bit of injury to the right arm because we’ve thrown our right arm farther over to the side,” Schmitz explains. If you’re using an external keyboard and mouse, you may find that you need to move your mouse further to the right (assuming you’re using your right hand on the mouse) to accommodate the number pad on the keyboard, which forces you to extend your right elbow.

This keyboard meets the criteria and includes a cushioned palm rest. The right keyboard will keep your wrists straight and in a neutral position, and you’ll be able to raise or lower it to maintain that position. What is Santillo’s advice?

To achieve good ergonomics, Apple purists don’t have to give up their minimalist aesthetic. Tyler Stalman, a photographer and podcaster, claims that the Magic Keyboard (a favorite of others) allows him to do just that. creative types), “the angle of my wrist feels right,” making typing less exhausting.

Best ergonomic mouses

“Mice that allow for natural internal rotation of the hand are the best,” says Alice Holland, a physical therapist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Stride Strong Physical Therapy.. She recommends this one if you have a small desk because it has a large trackball for easy scrolling and a detachable wrist rest for comfort.

Okubadejo suggests looking for a mouse that doesn’t actually fit your entire hand, avoiding those that force you to push your shoulders forward (putting a lot more pressure on them). He agrees with Santillo that a mouse that allows you to switch between your right and left hands is likely superior. “It’s small enough that the load of moving will be distributed to the hand and arm, reducing shoulder loading,” Okubadejo says. That’s exactly what this mouse does. The best ergonomic mouse, according to Okubadejo.

Holland claims that this mouse, which is available in both right- and left-handed versions, left-handed versionsKiberd told us that her patients prefer a different type of medication. “Enables the hand to be rotated to a comfortable angle,” says the author. It’s actually vertically oriented, with your hand in a handshake position to avoid any unnatural wrist or arm twisting. version of this mouse, which has similar features but costs a little more.

Another vertical mouse that is less expensive but equally popular is this one. Amazon reviewersIt’s also available for the same price as the Evoluent. “This is how the mouse should have been designed from the beginning,” one user writes. The wrist and arm are in a much more natural and comfortable position.” .. lefties.

Santillo also recommends a mouse designed for gaming(Logitech products were also popular among experts.) “It may take two to four weeks to get used to using it with your non-dominant,” Santillo says, “but once you do, you will notice a difference.” An ambidextrous mouse, as Santillo mentioned, can “distribute the force” between your two hands.

Okay, we did say Logitech was well-known. This selection was chosen as the best overall by four experts. wireless mouse.. The customizable (and comfortable) thumb Scroll Wheel is one feature that has received a lot of praise. “Having that horizontal scroll to move throughout a video timeline is huge for me, but it’s actually extremely helpful for the average person who is working with Excel spreadsheets or editing web pages.” “It’s a big mouse that doesn’t feel claustrophobic, like an Apple Magic Mouse,” says tech YouTuber and video creator Jeremy Smith. Sara Dietschy.

This budget-friendly mouse is popular among gamers, but it’s a good choice for anyone looking for a comfortable, budget-friendly mouse. “It is super comfortable in the hand, it’s large enough to provide good support to help prevent hand fatigue, and it has grooves for [resting] your thumb, ring, and pinky fingers,” writes one reviewer.

[Editor’s note: This mouse is currently out of stock on Amazon, so you’ll have to buy it from a Walmart third-party seller.]

Best ergonomic keyboard and mouse accessories

She purchased the set “for my husband, who was complaining of carpal tunnel syndrome,” and she claims it “works great.” Holland recommends supportive memory-foam wrist pads as a low-cost way to improve the comfort of whatever mouse and keyboard you’re using.

When it comes to ergonomics, the placement of your mouse and keyboard is just as important as, if not more important than, the equipment you use. To achieve this alignment and bring your wrists in line with your elbows, she suggests using a keyboard tray. “Your elbows should be about the same height as your keyboard, and your arms should be comfortably dangling from the side of your body,” Schmitz advises. During keyboard use, your wrists should not bend up or down, or to either side.” This one comes with built-in wrist padding and the ability to adjust the angle for the perfect fit. “It’s important that your shoulders are relaxed.

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Wrist Pain: The Best Ergonomic Keyboards and Mouses