If you have a desk job like me, you probably spend something like eight to ten hours in front of your computer. At work, at home, we’re constantly pecking away to write up that report your boss needs, finish that school paper, or find the newest viral video. With all that time spent at the computer, it’s important to consider investing in a quality keyboard and mouse. It can save your fingers and boost your productivity; not to mention, some of them look really cool.
The day one ritual of most desk jobs goes something like this: here’s your office/cubicle, here’s random guy who just walked by your office that your boss feels you should really meet, and here’s your computer that the last person left caked in dust. That crappy computer usually comes with a monitor with inexplicable gunk splatter on it and a keyboard/mouse combo that was purchased in the ’90s and is now covered in past employee’s finger oil and skin flakes. Now look, I don’t like to type finger oil and skin flakes. I really don’t even want to have the idea of old finger oil and skin flakes enter my brain, and I’m sure you don’t either. If you don’t want to be stuck with you-know-what, keep reading. There’s hope.
The good news is, you don’t have stick with what they give you. You have options. Sure you could start wearing gloves, but you just started this job. Don’t be glove-guy. You could clean it, but even then you’re still stuck with old equipment. The best option is to invest in a quality keyboard/mouse. Your fingers will thank you.
You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t want to spend the money when there’s already a keyboard/mouse provided for free, but it really is a worthwhile investment. If you leave your job, you can take it with you and avoid the next used keyboard. Having your own peripherals lets you personalize the feel and look of your work space. When you’re comfortable at work, you work better.
Ergo Or Not Ergo
I’m sure by this point, everyone knows that typing on a computer can be bad for you. RSIs (repetitive stress injuries) are a common typing related injury. They’re the result of muscles around your joints being stressed and not having time to heal. When people started spending more and more time typing on keyboards, RSIs started increasing. Enter the ergonomic keyboard.
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to allow your hands to rest at a more natural angle on the keyboard and reduce the stress on your muscles which prevents injuries. At least, it’s supposed to. The actual usefulness of ergonomic keyboards is still up in the air. If they are able to prevent injuries, the prevention is not a drastic one.
There’s also the price to consider, most ergonomic keyboards are pretty pricey. I would say, just like with any keyboard, try it out first. If you find it to be more comfortable for you and you’re willing to pay for that comfort, go for it. It’s not going to be worse than a regular keyboard for you.
When it comes to choosing the right keyboard and mouse, there’s no substitute for actually getting your grubby little paws on them. I don’t recommend buying online unless it’s a model that is very similar to one you have used before. Most stores that sell keyboards and mouses set up the options on a table for you to try. Before I bought mine, I went to three different stores before finally going back to the first store to get the one that felt great right off the bat. It’s not the most exciting way to spend a Saturday, but I knew I would be using those items every day for a long time to come.
I’m not going to recommend a specific model, because what feels great for my hands might not fit for you. I can; however, recommend that you go with a quality brand like Logitech. I’ve always enjoyed their products and have had good experience with them lasting for a long time. Even though I went with Microsoft for my last purchase, I currently have my eyes set on a particular Logitech mouse. They make great products. Definitely give them a shot.
All in all, having your own equipment is great. It lets your really take control of work space, and gets you just one step closer to the comfort of working from home. You may not have the money right away depending on what you want to buy, but it’ll be worth it to wait. So go out there and start trying out keyboards and mouses. Say no to finger oil and skin flakes. Most importantly though, don’t be glove-guy.
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