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What Are Separated Keyboards?

A Separated Keyboard has the ability to be physically separated into two distinct pieces, connected only by a cable. This feature accommodates nearly anyone or workspace, providing an infinite range of positioning options. Separated Keyboards are easily distinguished from both standard one-piece keyboards and other ergonomic keyboards that are merely Adjustable, Splayed or Split; the "pieces" on those types of keyboards remain attached to each other.


What is Wrong With Traditional Keyboards?

Keyboard Design
                Forces Wrists Into Ulnar Deviation -
                SeparatedKeyboards.comISSUE #1: Awkward Bends at the Wrist, Elbow or Shoulder Joint of the Right Arm to Position Fingers on the Home Row

While typing, fingers are typically placed on the "home row" (i.e. the row containing ASDF/HJKL).  However, most people have shoulders wider than the hands in home row position and in order to best align their fingers on the home row will twist their wrists outwards. This awkward bend of the wrists is referred to as Ulnar Deviation. Some people will also abduct (or "chicken wing") at the elbows and/or rotate the shoulders in an attempt to get comfortable while typing.

These awkward joint positions are risk factors that can increase the strain of typing, reduce circulation and can lead to potential inflammation, discomfort and pain in the associated muscles and tendons.

ISSUE #2: Making It Difficult to Reach the Mouse

When positioning to use a keyboard, we often align the body in the middle of the letter keys on the keyboard, (roughly 4" to the left of the middle of the keyboard). This is intuitive as it provides both hands equal access when typing. However, for those that mouse with the right hand, it forces the user to extend the hand as much as 15" when moving between the home row and the mouse.  

In other words, when reaching out for the mouse, the hand has to reach OVER the arrow keys and OVER the numeric keypad. This forces an awkward bend in the right wrist in a counter-clockwise direction and is referred to as Radial Deviation. Most people will also move their elbow and arm away from their body, resulting in elbow abduction and shoulder cuff rotation. Once again, these awkward joint positions are risk factors that can reduce circulation and lead to potential inflammation, discomfort and pain in the associated muscles and tendons.

Overreach for the Mouse Leads to Radial
                    Deviation in Wrist - SeparatedKeyboards.com
Overreach for
                      the Mouse Leads to Shoulder Cuff Rotation -
                      SeparatedKeyboards.com Overreach for
                      the Mouse Leads to Elbow Abudction -
                      SeparatedKeyboards.com


How Did
            Keyboard Designers Try to Fix the Problems?
Compact Keyboard Helps Mousing Arm Only -
            SeparatedKeyboards.com

To address Issue #2, designers started offering Compact Keyboards that have no numeric keypad. While this addressed Issue #2, it did nothing to address Issue #1!

Designers also came up with the idea of a Fixed Split Keyboard where the section of the keyboard with letters was split into two sections and splayed outward.

This somewhat addressed Issue #1, but these changes to the layout resulted in a wider keyboard, making Issue #2 worse, and created …

Splayed Keyboard
              Eliminates Ulnar Deviation But Can Cause Elbow Abduction -
              SeparatedKeyboards.com


ISSUE #3: Making the Elbows Bow Outwards

Designers then came up with a concept that seemed to be the solution - an Adjustable Split Keyboard. This keyboard was connected at the top, but had an adjustable joint or ball that allowed the two pieces to move, and was compact as the numeric keypad was removed. This partially addressed both Issue #1 and Issue #2, but did nothing to address Issue #3!

In order to keep the hands from twisting at the wrist, for most people a split or splayed keyboard forces the elbows to move away from the body. This is a risk factor that can reduce circulation in the arm and can lead to potential inflammation, discomfort and pain.


So What Was the
            Answer?

A SEPARATED KEYBOARD


Why Does
            Separated Beat Splay on a Keyboard?
Separated Versus Splayed Graphic


Separated Keyboards can be positioned in the ideal location for you, taking into account your shoulder width, upper and lower arm length and workstation. You can prevent any twisting at the wrist when typing on the keyboard.
(ISSUE #1 - RESOLVED).

Adding an embedded numeric keypad which can be "toggled" to convert the right section into a numeric keypad when necessary eliminates overreaching for the mouse.
(ISSUE #2 - RESOLVED).

Your elbows will remain relaxed at your sides (not bowed outward) and your shoulders will be "square" to your body (i.e. no rotation or curling forward. A theoretical line drawn through your elbow, forearm, wrist and middle finger will be perpendicular to the front edge of your keyboard.
(ISSUE #3 - RESOLVED)

Lastly, the versatility that a Separated Keyboard design offers is unparalleled. Provided a sufficiently long bridging cable is available, you can even mount each half of your keyboard to the arms of your chair, or whatever you require to address your personal needs and maximize the ergonomic position of the modules.

Learn More About Separated Keyboards


I Want a
            Separated Keyboard... What Are My Options?

Keyboard
Features
Bridge Cable
Matias Ergo Pro Keyboard

Matias Ergo Pro
                          Keyboard
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Keyswitch Type:
Mechanical
(Quiet Tactile or Quiet Linear)

Programmable: NO

Tenting
Included: 0° or 7°

Palm Supports: (included)

Negative Incline Option: YES

7.25" & 17"

(both included)

Matias Programmmable
Ergo Pro Keyboard


Matias Ergo Pro
                          Keyboard
More Info Button

Keyswitch Type:
Mechanical
(Quiet Tactile )

Programmable:YES

Tenting
Included: 0° or 7°

Palm Supports: (included)

Negative Incline Option: YES

7.25" & 17"

(both included)

Freestyle2 Keyboard

Kinesis Freestyle2 Keyboard
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Keyswitch Type:
Membrane
(Tactile)

Programmable: NO

Tenting
Included: None
Optional: 5°, 10°, 15°

Palm Supports: (optional)

Negative Incline Option: NO

Options of:

9" or 20" *

*selected at time
of purchase

Freestyle Edge RGB
Split Mechanical Gaming Keyboard


Kinesis Freestyle Edge Gaming Keyboard
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Keyswitch Type:
Mechanical
Cherry Brown/Blue/Red

Programmable: YES

Tenting
Included: None
Optional: 5°, 10°, 15°

Padded Palm Supports: (included)

Negative Incline Option: NO

Variable from
12" - 20"

Freestyle Pro Keyboard

Kinesis Freestyle Pro Keyboard
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Keyswitch Type :
Mechanical
Cherry Brown/Red

Programmable: YES

Tenting
Included: None
Optional: 5°, 10°, 15°

Palm Supports: (optional)

Negative Incline Option: NO

Variable from
12" - 20"
R-GO-Tools
Split Ergonomic Keyboard


R-GO-Tools Split Ergonomic Keyboard
More Info Button

Keyswitch Type:
Scissor-Switch Membrane
Chiclet Keycaps

Programmable: NO

Tenting: NO

Palm Supports: NO

Negative Incline Option: NO

9" & 20"

(both included)