Brad Dolph

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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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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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

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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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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