My favorite ergonomic office equipment will prevent wrist and neck injury without breaking the bank.
I spend a lot of time typing. I have RSI. I have tried every kind of ergonomic solution, from standing desks to crazy keyboards, to unconventional solutions like working from an armchair.
I have found, though, that the best cure is a well-designed work space and good habits.
I get up frequently, walk when I’m talking on the phone, go for walks, and move from my desk to a big leather armchair — and my phone or a notebook — whenever possible.
Working, even for an hour, on a laptop with glide pad or any poor ergonomic setup will destroy my hands for days. So I have a good desk chair, an adjustable keyboard, and an adjustable monitor.
I have tried them all. Here are my favorite – inexpensive but excellent – tools for the job.
Fleximounts Desk Monitor Mount
I have a big monitor. It lets me see without squinting and work on several things at once. The biggest monitor possible for my work space is essential, I think. Also essential is that the monitor be mounted on an adjustable arm. Setting the monitor at exactly the right height for each task means I don’t hurt my neck looking up or down at it. It also means I can push it out of the way to use my desk. This Fleximounts Desk Monitor Mount is perfect – moves easily, installs easily – and it’s $40! No brainer!
Alera Elusion Series Chair
I have bought The Alera Elusion chair twice. (I moved. Sold one. Bought another.) It is an excellent, completely adjustable office chair. I have owned the fancy and often-hailed-as-the-best Herman Miller Aeron chair that costs $1000 or more. This one works just as well for me and cost $208. That’s a lot of coin to save on one purchase! Granted the Alera requires assembly. But consider what you are getting paid per hour to do it!
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Pronation. That’s the problem with keyboards. They make you hold your hands horizontally while you type, working all those small muscles in your hands. This is awkward for the tiny nerves that go down your arm, though the carpal tunnel. They don’t like that twist. A keyboard that allows for even a slight inward horizontal bend of your wrist makes those nerves happier. I’ve used a lot of keyboards that do this over the years. For many years, the Goldtouch Adjustable Ergonomic Keyboard ($120) was my favorite. But it’s a little freaky and takes some getting used to. I wore the last one out in under a year and, in frustration over that, bought the Microsoft Sculpt ($66) because I’m a fan of the mouse in this line (below.) I like it. It has plenty of bend in the middle and none of the irritation of constantly readjusting the angle I had with the Goldtouch. It’s wireless and has a detachable numeric keypad. The keys have a lighter touch than the Goldtouch, which I’m finding to be easier on my hands.
Kensington Keyboard Platform with SmartFit System
The keyboard needs to be at exactly the right height for your body. A desk is very rarely that height. So an adjustable keyboard is a necessary piece of equipment for anyone who types. It took me a long time to find one I liked that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. This Kensington ($80) is it. It has room for both the mouse and the numeric keypad, pushes under the desk so I can write with pen and paper, adjusts, and doesn’t require an engineer to install it.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse
Gotta have a mouse. One that’s big enough to let your hand relax on it prevents cramping. I like this Microsoft Sculpt mouse, have used it for years, and would buy it again if this one went belly up. It has all the features, is wireless, and costs $30. Easy
This Wrist Brace
I work all day every day typing at a keyboard. And despite all my efforts to not do damage, that’s hard on my RSI. This wrist brace is like a safe place. I go there whenever I can when I’m not working. (Wearing a brace while typing is, in my experience, very bad. I don’t do it.) When I’m a sleeping, watching TV, reading a book? I put one of my wrists in this ComfyBrace. Delicious. And it recovers my wrist from a long day of work.
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