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I’m no stranger to working from home; in fact, I used to work from home two days a week until the pandemic prompted many of us to avoid going to work. So, for a long time, I’ve had a decent home office setup – a standing desk, a second monitor docked with my laptop, and a decent office chair.
Instead of using the laptop’s built-in keyboard and touchpad, which functioned perfectly, I didn’t bother with a dedicated keyboard and mouse… till my neck muscles and right shoulder flared up in pain over the course of a few weeks.
To be honest, the muscle problems weren’t new – I’ve had chronic back muscle tightness for a long time. The condition was exacerbated by using the laptop’s keyboard and trackpad, which caused a deep burning sensation in the right shoulder joint.
As hesitant as I was to change my long-standing configuration, I knew something had to be done, and thus an ergonomic keyboard and vertical mouse were introduced into my life. By the third day of utilising both, the burn in my right shoulder had almost vanished.
There’s a lot of disagreement about whether or not an ergonomic arrangement is genuinely useful — some people swear by it (especially corporations promoting these items), while others believe it’s overrated. I take the middle road: the ergonomic keyboard and mouse haven’t cured my repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) – far from it – but they have much improved my day-to-day functioning, and I’ll happily preach the advantages of the ergonomic keyboard and mouse to anyone who will listen.
I’ll also be the first to say that it might not be appropriate for everyone. It’s worth looking into if one of your New Year’s intentions is to improve the comfort of your home office setting.
To go ergonomic or not to go ergonomic, there is the question…
The problem with purchasing an ergonomic keyboard is that there are many different varieties, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It’s difficult to know which one will work best for you when you can’t try them on in a store.
I spent days researching arm and wrist locations on several types of ergonomic keyboards in order to determine which one would (theoretically) benefit the shoulder joint the most. Finally, I settled on the Logitech Ergo K860 split wireless keyboard, which we also recommend as the finest ergonomic keyboard on TechRadar.
And, since I couldn’t tell if it was the laptop keyboard or the trackpad that was bothering me, I decided to acquire an ergonomic mouse as well, opting for the Logitech MX Vertical wireless mouse.
I’m not sure if it was the new split keyboard, the vertical mouse, or a mix of the two that helped me, but discomfort that no amount of physiotherapy could alleviate seemed to vanish within days. Clearly, the money was well spent.