I’m a newcomer to this list, but I have been suffering from bad hand and arm pain for around 6 months. I ordered a Maltron keyboard last week (for hire initially). Has anyone any experience of using one of these? I have tried stuff like the MS Natural Keyboard, which has helped a little (but only a little), but the Maltron is, of course, much more radical.
Comment 1: Just got a Kinesis keyboard, which has a similar concept. I’m just starting to get used to it but it certainly feels like it’s going to be less strain after a while. Expect to feel weird but also since the movements you make are slightly different it feels like it isn’t making any difference until you’re accustomed to the new moves. Just give it time enough to get used to it. Another thing you’ll need to get used to be the crowd of people who stop by your desk and ask what on earth you think you’re doing with a work of surrealist art instead of a keyboard. I’d also recommend getting used to it in QWERTY mode before switching to the alternative layout (it is switchable isn’t it?) because it’s hard enough getting used to it in QWERTY mode. I hope that’s helped a bit – good luck!
Comment 2: I have been using the Maltron Keyboard (split, dual handed) for almost 4 years now. I would just like to say give yourself time to get used to the keyboard. It looks and feels strange at first, I would strongly advise hiring the keyboard for approximately 4 weeks first to see if you like it before you buy it. As I have said previously, I would be lost without my keyboard.
Comment 3: I am doing research into the Maltron keyboard and have found that most people who use it find it really beneficial for their RSI. It reduces the amount of force that you put through your fingers which is one of the big problems behind CTS and the other RSI problems. I’ve tried to use the Maltron and have found it slightly frustrating but don’t let that put you off with practice it’s not hard to get used to where the keys are and which fingers are the best to use.
Comment 4: Thanks for your comments, It’s very heartening. I must admit I was a little skeptical about whether another keyboard might really be beneficial but I’m feeling a little more positive. I suppose I’m in a luckier position than some because I have a reasonably understanding employer and I can, at a push, work at home for a few months with a voice recognition system, the problem is that I would feel really isolated. Over the last few months I have been stuck in this cycle of my hands improving, me getting over confident and hurting myself again and I can see that I have been pretty naive about the seriousness of the problem. I thought, stupidly, that it wouldn’t be difficult to get over but, here I am six months down the line still suffering. I am still a little shocked as to the fact that I have got RSI at all. I kind of associated it with data entry workers and the like, people who do thousands of keystrokes a day. Anyway, thanks for your advice and wishes of luck. I’ll let you know how I get on.