Maltron keyboard use

Your problems I’m glad to know are not yet severe but not unlike those of Carolyn Tryon of USA who also had to give up her piano playing. In her letter to us she reported that although it took some months of practice to regain her high speed of around 90 words/min, she has recovered and can now play the piano again.. Learning to use a Maltron is not unlike learning to use another musical instrument. Lots of musicians can play several and no-one thinks this is unusual. The script is the same but the fingering is different. No one expects to be able to change from a piano to an organ and play competently without putting in a lot of practice even though the keys are in the same places. RSI is an occupational hazard for professional pianists too.

I also enclosed a letter from Sue Welford, Warwick University’s physiotherapist. She wrote to say that in the case of a student with Tenosynovitis of the right wrist “a problem initiated by regular use of computers. Physiotherapy alleviates the problem but she has benefitted more from the use of a Maltron keyboard. I am therefore concerned that her RSI will return unless she can continue to use the ergonomic keyboard.” No doubt you will be able to talk to Sue, but please note that she specifically associates the problem with flat keyboard use and that it would return if it was used again. The student was from Cyprus and we were able to make arrangements for her to take a Maltron keyboard back home with her.

Many Maltron users have made the comment that within a short time, sometimes even in minutes, the pain caused by the strain of using a flat keyboard is back again if they try to use it. The letters from Kathy Berry, Science Editor in Chief, at the Alaska Geophysical University and Dr. Lara Marks D.Phil. of Imperial College London, confirm this point. The human body can and does adapt to unergonomic working conditions, but there is always a price to pay. For most it is end of day tiredness, for some a few aches, but those whose body design or condition will not put up with the strain, it is severe pain and disability. This does not mean that there may not also be some medical problem as well which is made worse by continuous keyboard work. Many of the comments in this conference confirm this by the actions taken which have given relief. However continuing to use an unergonomic keyboard is never going to help. Microsoft bought 2 of ours before producing their design. I hope the letters and my comments above will help you to decide the way forward to solve your problem. Please don’t delay but do let me know if I can be of further help.

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