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We know that for the most comfortable use of technology, we need to design items for both optimal movement of the body and minimal contortions of muscles from their resting positions.

We know from studying human physiology, and have confirmed from studying how humans sleep in zero gravity, the perfectly relaxed positions of all of your muscles in your body.

We will ignore legs for the sake of this question since we know that your legs are relaxed around halfway between sitting and standing, and making a half sitting / half standing chair could be uncomfortable for the rest of your body. (We have also seen that switching between sitting and standing seems to work okay for your legs)

So my question really comes down to your arms. This is what your arms look like when they are relaxed: enter image description here

We know that the position of your arms required for current typing/mouse activity is creates an unnecessary twist in your arm which can lead to various problems (and there are wrist bends and a large finger workouts, etc, etc).

Are there any type of keyboard/mouse that would fit nicely into your hands in this "resting" position? The closest device I can think of that actually follows these ergonomics are recent video-game controllers.

Here is my problem with the currently accepted solution of sitting/standing. How can I avoid this endless loop?

  1. Center keyboard with display
  2. Move to the left to place hands on home row
  3. Start typing.
  4. Now my head has to turn too the right more often then the left to see items on the screen
  5. Solution! Center home row of keyboard with center of display.
  6. Reach with my right arm into the ether to retrieve mouse.
  7. Perform left hand chording on keyboard with right arm in Neverland
  8. Solution! Slide everything over to the left to make right arm comfortable for mousing
  9. Goto 1

Is it possible to get the best of both worlds?

         _______________________
        |                       |
        |                       |
        |        Screen         |
        |                       |
        |                       |
        |_______________________|

        __________________________      ___
        |                 |       |    | M |
        |  Main Typing    | Other |    | O |
        |     Area        |  Keys |    | U |
        |_________________|_______|    | S |
                                       | E |

    _______________________________________________________                                

                 _______________________
                |                       |
                |                       |
                |        Screen         |
                |                       |
                |                       |
                |_______________________|

    __________________________      ___
    |                 |       |    | M |
    |  Main Typing    | Other |    | O |
    |     Area        |  Keys |    | U |
    |_________________|_______|    | S |
                                   | E |
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about ergonomics, not productivity –  Rory Alsop Feb 15 at 20:25
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closed as off-topic by Rory Alsop Feb 15 at 20:25

  • This question does not appear to be about personal productivity within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers

Honestly, I never had problems with switching between mouse and keyboard. However learning keyboard shortcuts to avoid switching may help you. I'm often surprised how few people even know and use keys like "home" or "end" but instead painstakingly select text with their mouses ("bonus" points for very low sensitivity).

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I am well aware of all of the features of the keyboard and mouse. I just don't understand how people can get them lined up properly with their display –  user7385 Feb 8 at 15:30
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You should consider a product such as Contour Rollermouse. It will cost you about $200, but if you are prone to having problems with RSI, I'd say it's money well spent. Primarily, it replaces the mouse with a rolling stick and buttons located centrally. It eliminates the need to move a mouse to either the right or left of your keyboard, which is terrible from an ergonomics point of view.

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A trackball would be more appropriate I think, for ergonomics. This device forces you to have your wrist twisted to be flat like on the keyboard. Better ergonomics involve vertical keyboards and (trackball) mouse, because as the op mentions, your hands' resting position is open, not flat. –  Max Feb 10 at 18:47
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Kinesis has a range of keyboard and mouse solutions for you that help assuming a more natural position.

Personally, I am very happy with a Kinesis Advantage keyboard and a Kensington Expert Mouse. Admittedly, those don't allow for a much more natural positioning of the hands, but are much easier on the hands than standard stuff.

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