Laptops are great! They are compact, convenient and easy to use. But if you’ve been working from home this past year with a laptop as your primary machine, you know how difficult it can be to work for 8 hours on this device every single day. Especially so, if you don’t use an extended keyboard and mouse to go with it. With remote work seeming more permanent by the day, if there is a good time to invest in your go-to pieces of home office essentials, it is now.
A keyboard and mouse? Are these devices really that important? Yes, they are. These two items are capable of reducing pain, fatigue and increasing productivity to a great extent. Read on as we discuss the ergonomic benefits and even let you in on some of our favourite keyboard and mouse models!
Most of us tend to forget about keyboards because a computer usually comes with a free keyboard and a laptop with a keyboard that’s built-in. However, not all keyboards are optimised for you and your needs. If you find your keyboard uncomfortable to use, we highly recommend investing in an extended keyboard that suits your requirements.
What are the ergonomic benefits of a Keyboard?
- A screen should always be placed about 40cm away from you to reduce eye strain and improve posture. An extended keyboard allows you to maintain this necessary distance.
- Having an extended ergonomic keyboard can alleviate typing-related ailments like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It positions your hands and wrists in their natural position, which means you will be able to work for longer periods safely.
- The size of the keys on an extended keyboard is much larger than the keys of a laptop. This is because there is no limitation when it comes to space. Having a separate keyboard will make typing much easier and reduce typing errors.
- This one may surprise you, but research shows that your computer keyboard can be 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Sounds gross, but it’s true. In this era where keeping germs at bay is of utmost importance, having an external keyboard can help you because cleaning an external device is much easier and more effective than cleaning a laptop itself.
Wired or wireless?
The basic models of wired keyboards are usually cheaper. These keyboards do not need batteries as they connect to your PC with a USB cable. On the other hand, wireless keyboards are more popular because they eliminate the need to use a cable that would otherwise be a source of clutter at your desk. Instead, these keyboards use Bluetooth or a small USB receiver. The power is typically supplied by AA batteries or in-built ones.
If you work with spreadsheets, numbers and/or do a full day of typing, having a wireless keyboard will be extremely beneficial to you. A wireless keyboard will ensure convenience, ergonomics, portability – all while saving you a lot of valuable space!
- Dell KB522 Multimedia USB Keyboard – This one is a wired keyboard with 2 USB ports for expanded connectivity.
- Computer Gear USB Standard Keyboard – This keyboard has a spill-resistant design and an anti-bacterial coating.
- Logitech K270 Wireless Keyboard – This wireless Logitech keyboard is comfortable, easy to type on and has an automatic power-off feature to prevent battery waste
Laptops come with an in-built touchpad for navigation. These are very convenient if you use your laptop for a couple of hours per day, but not so much if you depend on the touchpad for a whole work week. Touchpads require you to contort your fingers, which can cause a lot of strain on your joins. Let us discuss the benefits of having a separate mouse, its variants and some recommended models.
What are the ergonomic benefits of a mouse?
- As mentioned above, using a trackpad can make you twist your wrists and fingers to get work done. As humans, our wrists aren’t meant to be contorted this way. Using an ergonomic mouse allows your hands to rest in its natural position, alleviating stress.
- A mouse ensures lesser fatigue, as you do not have to put in a lot of effort or pressure to click something.
- The scroll wheel on the mouse will help you access documents faster and improve precision while working by adding some key shortcuts to your workflow.
- You don’t have to invest in a mouse only if a certain ache or pain becomes evident to you. A good ergonomic mouse can help prevent future injury by promoting an anatomical resting position and an easy grip.
Wired or wireless?
Like keyboards, mice are also available in wired and wireless configurations. The key advantage of the wireless mouse also remains the same – one less cable to worry about. While most wireless mice come with in-built batteries that can be charged via USB, some still use replaceable AA batteries. These can be a bit on the pricier side, too.
A wired mouse, however, is less expensive and eliminates the worry of charging the mouse or replacing batteries.
Many manufacturers offer keyboard and mouse sets that are designed to offer you the same look and functionality. So, if you’re going for a uniform look, these sets are worth considering.
Your mouse will by far be the most-used device while working from home, so do not compromise. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Q-Connect Wireless Optical Mouse – This compact optical mouse is easy to use, portable and has an optical sensor for greater accuracy.
- Logitech M185 Wireless Mouse – This wireless mouse has an ergonomic design and works great with laptops and desktops with 2.4GHz wireless connectivity.
- Kensington Pro Fit Wireless Optical Mouse – This wireless mouse is great for a clutter-free setup and complements mobile laptop usage for travel with a storable nano receiver.
If you’re looking to buy a new keyboard and mouse, don’t forget to consider getting other accessories that are equally as important for your setup. Here’s a quick guide – a good mousepad for more accurate mousing, wrist rest or wrist guard to relieve stress while typing and of course, a laptop stand!
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