To me, ergonomics has always seemed like a fancy word manufacturers used to slap exorbitant price tags on their well-designed products and give them a false sense of functionality. But after being in a deskbound job for more than six months, I am beginning to view ergonomics in a new perspective.

The clear and present danger of repetitive stress injury is something we have to deal with in our increasingly sedate and technology-driven life. I literally spend more than 10 hours in front of a computer typing away, be it for work or chatting with friends online, and my strained body was sending me signals that I could no longer ignore. I needed a solution, and I needed it fast.

Gone were the days of plain, white 102-key keyboards. There are the sleek, aluminium wireless keyboards for minimalists; technologically-advanced keyboards with an assortment of hot keys and a popup LCD screen to display game stats for hardcore gamers; and cute, colourful keyboards for people who like all things kawaii. And given the wide-ranging assortment of keyboards available in the market now, I was quite surprised to find only one model of ergonomic keyboard after searching every store and crevices at Sim Lim Square.

But it was love at first sight, the exact model I had been looking for. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is its name. I was given the same keyboard at work about a week ago after I requested for a more ergonomic one. It may not be the coolest keyboard I have seen, but it’s certainly the most comfortable I have used.

Finding the right mouse was also a challenge. Being ambidextrous, my options were limited since I needed a mouse that works in either hand. I had my eyes on the Logitech LX7 Cordless Optical Mouse, but I wasn’t quite sure about the range of its wireless mini-receiver. In the end, I decided on a wired mouse instead, the Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000.

My ergonomic workspace at home is almost complete. Now if only someone can sponsor me for a Herman Miller Aeron chair.

03 July 2006 · Technology

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