Consumer Reports

Keyboard and Mice That Fight Fatigue

NBCUniversal, Inc.

How many hours a day do you spend using a computer? Consumer Reports says an ergonomic keyboard and mouse may be just what the doctor ordered to take some of those aches and pains away. Consumer Reports recently tested ergonomic keyboards and mice and reveals which ones did best.

Ergonomic keyboards and mice might look a little weird, but that’s intentional. They’re designed to put less stress on your wrists, forearms, and even your shoulders and back.

Consumer Reports found in its keyboard testing that you get what you pay for. The models priced under $100 didn’t do nearly as well as those priced over $100.

Consumer Reports recommends the Kinesis Freestyle 2 Keyboard. It splits in two, so each half can be positioned in line with your shoulders. That eliminates some stressful rotating and bending in your shoulders and wrists. To get the greatest ergonomic benefit, CR also recommends buying the optional palm rest and tenting accessories for this model. The PC version costs $100 and theMac Version costs $110.

The Logitech ERGO K860 Ergonomic Keyboard costs $130 and also did well in CR’s tests. It has a split, splayed, and tented design meant to take pressure off your wrists. The keyboard comes with a palm rest and flip-out front legs, which help your wrists stay in a neutral position.

When it comes to ergonomic mice, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good one. Consumer Reports recommends the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Wireless Mouse, which costs $50. It’s a battery-powered model from Microsoft. This model is a hybrid of the typical horizontal form and the more ergonomic vertical form. But lefties take note: Like many ergonomic mice, the Microsoft Sculpt is available only in a right-handed version.

The wired Adesso iMouse E1 Optical Mouse, which costs $35, comes in left and right-handed models. CR’s tests show that the vertical form reduces forearm pronation, the motion you make when giving a thumbs-down. That makes it a good choice for people who experience pain when using a horizontal mouse.

Consumer Reports says no matter what keyboard or mouse you choose, it’s important to take breaks and stretch often.

One other thing to keep in mind: Consumer Reports says these keyboards and mice take some getting used to, so maybe don’t toss your old hardware until you’re comfortable with the new stuff.

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