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Stop Your Keyboard from Taking Your Hands

  • John N. A. Brown
Chapter
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)

Abstract

If you use a computer for writing, you probably use a keyboard for text entry. Now, I know that not everyone does use a keyboard, whether that is by choice or by circumstance, but I have only known two people who didn’t use them at least a little.

Yes, my experience is only a small sample of the sum experience of the human race, but I’ve worked with computers on five continents, and I’ve been playing with them so long that I remember when the latest advance was connecting a punchcard reader to a distant computer via telephone through the use of some new tech called a modem.

But, like Peter David, I digress.

You may be thinking that you don’t use a keyboard, because you type on a touchscreen. If so, I invite you to take my new distance learning course on Hair-Splitting. It will begin once we have all agreed to a single grading scale.

Sorry.

In this chapter we will discuss a stupid device called a keyboard. It was technologically brilliant in its time, but it has always caused injury to the people who use it, usually in direct proportion to the time they spend on it.

We know, through science, a few things about how to make a keyboard better or worse – less or more injurious. Strangely, the manufacturers ignore this knowledge, and the consumers continue to purchase bad designs – whether due to cross-generational habit, or successful marketing, or – and this seems more likely to me – through blind ignorance and lack of options.

Once you’ve read this chapter you won’t have those last two excuses anymore.

Keywords

Carpal Tunnel Ulnar Nerve Coffee Shop Notebook Computer Wrist Posture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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    Katz RT (1994) Carpal tunnel syndrome: a practical review. Am Fam Physician 49:1371–1379Google Scholar
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    Baker N (2013) The effectiveness of alternative keyboards at reducing musculoskeletal symptoms at work: a review. In: Digital human modeling and applications in health, safety, ergonomics, and risk management. Human body modeling and ergonomics. Springer, Berlin, pp 189–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Keir PJ, Bach JM, Rempel D (1998) Effects of finger posture on carpal tunnel pressure during wrist motion. J Hand Surg 23A:1004–1009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Serina ER, Tal R, Rempel D (1999) Wrist and forearm postures and motions during typing. Ergonomics 42:938–951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Asundi K, Odell D, Luce A, Dennerlein JT (2012) Changes in posture through the use of simple inclines with notebook computers placed on a standard desk. Appl Ergon 43(2):400–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • John N. A. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Informatics SystemsAlpen-Adria Universität KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria

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