Repetitive stress injuries caused from long and continuous rounds or working at the computer can result in damage ranging from mild discomfort to extreme damage requiring surgery. If your career depends on your ability to be working with a computer almost every day you MUST take time now to get your posture right and your workspace setup right. There are lots of good resources on the web (search Google for “RSI” or “ergonomics”) regarding proper posture, workspace setup, monitors, chairs, etc. This post is just a recommendation to everyone to get and use an ergonomic keyboard, at the least.
After a hard week of typing to complete papers and postings for my masters degree, I felt discomfort in my hands and wrists. This was my wake up call. My business would be dead in its tracks if I could not type for any period of time.
I immediately began researching ergonomic keyboards and found that the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 had received mostly positive reviews from users. I have had mine for about two months and love it! It is very comfortable and also completely customizable (in the soft sense, not form-factor) through the software that is included or can be downloaded from Microsoft. Take the time to program the keys along the top and you can have instant access to the tools you use the most.
The keyboard improves my productivity in two ways. It allows me to comfortably and ergonomically type all day long. It also encourages the use of keyboard shortcuts because of its software (found in System Preferences on my MacBook Pro) and because of its dedicated “Web/Home”, “Search” (which I’ve reprogrammed to bring up Spotlight), “Mail”, volume, “Calculator” (which I’ve reprogrammed to bring up Widgets), “Back”/”Forward” (great for web browsing and easily accessible to your thumbs), and five keys labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 that I have programmed to launch, or bring to focus if already launched, various apps I use often. There is a “Zoom” slider that I never use that I wish would have been setup to scroll instead of zoom.
Go get one (or any other recommended ergonomic keyboard) and your body – and your career – will thank you for it.