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When the keyboard is at the right height
7a.   Your shoulders are relaxed, and your elbows are close to your body.
7b.   Your elbows are bent to 90 degrees, or slightly greater (inner angle).
7c.   The tops of the “home row” keys are at the same height as your elbows, or slightly below your elbows.
7d.   Your wrists are straight (not bent).

Home row

Keys at elbow height
"Neutral" keyboard

Keys slightly below elbows
"Negative" keyboard tilt
When you center your fingers on “home row”, your fingers must reach the top, bottom, and sides of the keyboard. The fingers and wrists do all the work and they quickly tire.

Try this keying technique*
Instead, transfer the workload from your hands to the larger muscles of your arms, elbows, and shoulders by using arm movements rather than just finger and wrist movements while keying.
You will work more comfortably and you won’t tire as quickly.

“Computing Without Pain With the MouseKeyDo System,” Norman J. Kahan, MD.

In this section, reference is made to the keyboard platform. The keyboard platform is mounted beneath the work surface, and allows you to raise, lower, and tilt the keyboard. For computer operators, it is recommended that the keyboard platform is either flat (not tilted) or tilted downwards (negative tilt). It is not recommended that the keyboard is tilted upwards (positive tilt), as this forces you to bend your wrists back.

Negative tilt

Flat or neutral (not tilted)

Positive tilt

Many desktop computer users still use the standard, or traditional, keyboard. For a description of alternative keyboards, go to http://www.healthycomputing.com/office/accessories/keyboard/#Keyboards.

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Department of Industrial Relations   Cal/OSHA Consultation Service   Research and Education Unit