Sunday, November 24, 2013
I grew up in Kentucky where basketball is practically a religion. As a little kid, I tried with all of my might to throw a basketball up into a full sized rim, but for a long time, I just wasn’t strong enough. After getting a little taller and hundreds of tries, eventually I started making some of my shots. However, there was a problem. In my effort to get the ball high enough to stand a chance of going into the basket, I learned the wrong form. The wrong shooting form was only going to get me so far, so I tried to learn the correct form: cradling the ball in one hand with the other hand off to the side for support, then shooting with one hand. At first it was completely awkward and took hours of practice to adjust to. The process of adjusting my shot was terrible, but In the end, I was a much better shooter using the proper form, and continued to improve with practice over time.
Change can be difficult. We are creatures of habit. Even if it isn’t the best way, we avoid change and prefer what’s familiar. In reality, there are changes that are well worth making, even if there is an awkward adjustment period. Ask anyone starting a running program; it’s always challenging at first. That is the same phenomena some people experience when they first try an ergonomic keyboard. After years of using standard, non-ergonomic designs, non-ergonomic, flat keyboards actually begin to feel right, even if they aren’t as good for us in the long term.
First, it is important to look at why you would want to change? If you are considering an ergonomic keyboard, you likely either are experiencing some of the signs of a repetitive strain injury, want to avoid the likelihood of an injury, or just have a general interest in maintaining proper form and health. If any of these are the case, or you just want to develop healthy work habits, here are some ways to help you adjust to an ergonomic keyboard.
Start SlowlyRome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your ergonomic keyboard feel comfortable in a day. An ergonomic keyboard, while designed to reduce muscle strain, can feel really awkward at first. Sometimes the best way to type doesn’t feel right if you’ve done it the wrong way for so many years. Ease into using the keyboard. Don’t jump right into typing eight hours straight with the new keyboard. Type for 30 minutes a day at first then take a break, come back and type again. You might not type quite as fast at first, but many people say that using an ergonomic keyboard have helped them increase their typing speed in time.
Gradually AdjustErgonomic keyboards are different from traditional keyboards because they are split down the middle with a large space and angled for a more comfortable position. However, there are ergonomic keyboards that allow you to adjust the angle of the split from zero to 30 degrees. By gradually adjusting the angle, these adjustable angle ergonomic keyboards can help make the transition easier.
Just Do ItThe bottom line is that adjusting will take time to fully feel comfortable. Dive in and start using an ergonomic keyboard and before you know it, you’ll never want to go back to a traditional keyboard again.
Brian Michael is a writer and blogger who has covered personal finance, investing, insurance, travel, and sports. When he isn't working his day job in marketing he likes to travel the world with his wife.