Before we answer the topic in question, we must first define what is ergonomics.
According to the International Ergonomics Association:
"Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. "
In simple terms, ergonomics is human centered design. Helping people interact with systems in their most natural way.
The need for ergonomic keyboards developed from the growing number of office workers who suffer from different forms of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). These workers typically spend most of their day typing away in front of a computer. Using keyboards that were not designed with the user's ergonomics and comfort in mind. Working on a uncomfortable keyboard everyday puts pressure on the respective muscles, tendons and bones; causing damage that builds up over time.
There are many types of RSI, some of the more common ones include:
For office workers, RSI usually affect parts of the upper body. Cases involving hand and wrist discomfort after prolonged computer use is the most common. Symptoms can include:
RSI can be a debilitating injury. Affecting everyone from typists to programmers to professional gamers. Nerve damage, inflammation of related muscles and tendons are possible. Please consult your doctor to understand the extent and severity of your situation. In the most serious cases, surgery may be required to repair the damage.