What is the best hand position to prevent RSI?

A major cause of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is the prolonged and repetitive hand movements involved in computer keyboard use. Given the amount of time spent by most people at their computer typing it is no wonder that RSI is an issue of great concern in the workplace. The Victorian WorkCover Chief Executive reported in recent years that  soft tissue and muscle injuries such as RSI accounted for 62% of all WorkCover claims. See our earlier blog for more statistics regarding the prevalence of RSI.

The design of many keyboards tends to create or exacerbate the problem. Read on to find out about the best hand positions to prevent or help manage RSI, and what you need to do to ensure you minimise your chances of getting this painful and disabling condition.

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Startling research about RSI and the benefits of Maltron Keyboards

In the United Kingdom, where the Maltron keyboard originated over 25 years ago, much research has been undertaken on Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and the advantages of the Maltron keyboard in helping to prevent and manage this condition. Unfortunately similar research has not been conducted in Australia, but we hope in the future it will be. Particularly when the figures are so alarming and the benefits of Maltron keyboards so striking.

Read on to find out more..

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School of Health organisation and a world record holder give Maltron Single Handed Keyboards the nod!

The School of Health organisation in Chicago in the USA has recently shown their support for the Maltron Single Handed keyboard by placing a large order for keyboards for people who only have functionality in one hand (ordering both left and right handed keyboards).

These keyboards are designed and shaped to provide the best ergonomic arrangement of keys to give strain free five-digit operation. The letter layout is arranged to minimise successive use of a single finger, which would considerably slow typing pace.
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Take action against RSI!

Work related strain injuries

Strain injuries at work, the most common being Repetitive Strain Injury are caused by excessive force being imposed on muscles, tendons, joints and the nervous system by some working practices (such as typing). When the strain is of short duration accompanied by adequate rest it generally does not cause significant damage. However, with work practices being increasingly sedentary and with the overwhelming majority of jobs requiring long periods of keyboard use, this can result in very frequent exertions of forced static postures which can result in a loss of capacity in the affected limbs.

The three main factors that can lead to strain injuries include:

FORCE – the application of excessive manual force

FREQUENCY AND DURATION OF MOVEMENT – including rates of working which are intense and repetitive

AWKWARD OR RIGID POSTURE – particularly of hand, wrist, arm or shoulder

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The most versatile keyboards in the world!

Custom designed Maltron keyboards are the most versatile keyboards in the world, catering to the needs of the everyday user wanting to minimise the risk of Repetitive Strain Injury, to people who have minimal or no use of their upper limbs.

The conditions the Maltron keyboard caters for include:

  • Strokes
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Tendonitis
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Work Related Upper Limb Disorders

Australia lags behind in disability employment

Research by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reveals that Australia is falling behind other developed nations in the provision of employment and other opportunities for people with a disability (PWD).

Australia ranks 21st out of 29 OECD countries in the provision of employment opportunities for those with a disability and the proportion of disabled Australians who live in poverty, 45%, is double the OECD average.  Unemployment rates for PWD within Australia are also double the rate of people without disabilities/serious health problems.

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Why you should use Maltron one-handed keyboards

Upper limb disability in Australia

There are many reasons why an individual may have limited or no use of one hand.  The main causes are: diabetes, vascular disease, trauma (e.g. an industrial accident), congenital conditions affecting the musculo-skeletal or nervous system and infections (such as sepsis and osteomyelitis).  It is estimated that there are at least 35,000 persons with amputations within Australia, which is likely to be an underestimate given that it is based on data gathered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1993.  Statistics from the US show that the most common amputation is partial hand (one or more fingers) and the next most common is loss of an arm.

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Book examines lack of functionality in design of QWERTY keyboard

The Design of Everyday Things (formerly entitled The Psychology of Everyday Things) by Donald Norman discusses the issue of design and functionality of everyday objects and the frustration – and worse – that can arise when objects are ill-designed and not user-friendly.

From taps and doors to computers and aeroplane cockpits, Norman (2002) provides examples of poorly designed objects and the impact on the user; ranging from mere annoyance to tragic injury and even death.

One of the products he discusses is the QWERTY (also known as Sholes) keyboard, the standard keyboard used with most computers. He outlines the deficiencies of the keyboard and its inappropriateness in the modern world, requiring faster keying speeds and designs that are comfortable for the hands and wrists.

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Don’t just take our word for it

Of course we think that Maltron keyboards are the best thing since the computer.  But don’t just take our word for it.  Check out these Maltron product reviews:

  • From Joe, a court reporter who’s been using the same Maltron keyboard since 1986 (his blog was posted in 2005), and who has mastered the keyboard to the extent that he can now type in real-time.
  • From Karl, a computer programmer who not only used a Maltron keyboard to write a book but has also been able to facilitate his career without sacrificing his love of playing music.
  • This Maltron owner who reveals the outcome of his comparison between the Maltron keyboard and another ergonomic keyboard.
  • ‘Answer 5’ on this RSI website who adds his endorsement and quotes that 600 sufferers worldwide from RSI are back to work now thanks to the Maltron keyboard.

Maltron keyboards are designed for anyone who wants to avoid or minimise the effects of Repetitive Strain Injury and for people who are unable to use both or one of their hands.

Have you used the Maltron keyboard?  We’d like to hear from you!  Add your product review to the comments section below.

And if not, contact us to order your Maltron keyboard today.

A solution for disabled or injured workers!

One in five Australians has a disability

The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) revealed that approximately one in five Australians, or 4 million people, have a disability.

87% of those 4 million people have a specific limitation or restriction; that is, an impairment restricting their ability to perform communication, mobility or self-care activities, or a restriction affecting employment or schooling.

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Revolutionary Maltron keyboard helps prevent Repetitive Strain Injury

What is RSI?

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) (also known as repetitive stress injury, occupational overuse syndrome and regional musculoskeletal disorder) is an injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous system caused by prolonged repetitive hand movements or sustained or awkward positions, such as those involved in computer, mouse and keyboard use. 

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