Keyboard Ergonomics

It is important to understand the keyboard options you have when outfitting your workstation.  Different types of keyboards offer various benefits.  Below are some options when selecting a keyboard for your workstation.

Split Keyboard

  • Designed to straighten wrists and arms to be in a more neutral position
  • Low force needed to press keys
  • Compact size
  • Compatible with all major computer operating systems
  • Can spread keyboard to a shoulder-width apart
  • Easy to position
  • Can place mouse in the middle of the keyboard (allows for less reaching)
  • No number pad which creates a shorter reach when the mouse is placed on the right side.  If a number pad is necessary it is a separate attachment that can be positioned independently of the keyboard.
  • Can be used with standard mouse or roller mouse.

Arc Keyboard

  • Decreases unnatural wrist positioning (ulnar deviation)
  • Wireless, compact
  • Easily transported

Contoured Keyboard

  • Adjustable slope of keyboard—neutral, positive, or negative
  • Padded wrist wrest
  • Raised middle to promote neutral wrist position
  • Not compatible with a roller mouse.

Adjustable Keyboard Tray

  • Height adjustable
  • Can change tilt on tray (0 to -15 degrees)
  • Swivel feature (keyboard tray and mouse board)
  • Adjustable
  • Takes keyboard and mouse off of desk top creating greater desk top working space.
  • Allows for better flexibility in adjustments and allows for multiple users

Things to consider with an adjustable keyboard tray

  • Ease of use
  • Able to maintain its position
  • Easily rotatable mouse board to allow for right of left handed mouse use.
  • Dial indicating keyboard tray angle


  • The keyboard should be at or slightly below elbow height, and parallel with your forearms.
  • If your keyboard has feet on the back that prop it up, make sure to close those feet in order to keep in flat and maintain the wrists in a neutral position.
  • Position equipment and work tasks so that your body is directly in front of and close to your major work tasks (think letter “B” at your belly-button!)
  • Utilize a gel wrist rest to provide rest breaks when typing

Additional Resources


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Contact Information

Brian Cournoyer, Occupational Health and Safety Manager
Phone: (603) 862-4761

Matthew Smith, Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator
Phone: (603) 862-4266