Microsoft has years of experience creating ergonomic keyboards and mice designed to promote healthy computing principles. These products are designed based off extensive research. And today we are making some of this research available in the Microsoft Healthy Computing Survey so you can get some insight into data used to build these types of ergonomic products. I suggest giving the survey a look – some of the findings may surprise you. In taking a look at the survey myself, it has certainly made me consider “comfort” when sitting in from of my PC all day. Of the people we surveyed from around the world, 85% of them said they experience discomfort on a daily basis as a result of their workspace setup. And now that I think about it, it may be time for me to consider changing my own setup here at work for a more healthy and comfortable experience. We have also created an infographic that I have included at the bottom of this blog post that highlights a lot of the findings within the Microsoft Healthy Computing Survey.
The next evolution of ergonomic products from Microsoft is being announced today – the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop which is the result of our continued research and investment in ergonomics. The Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is the latest evolution of Microsoft’s Natural line of ergonomic products which was first launched nearly 20 years ago in 1994 (1994 is when Star Trek: The Next Generation ended its awesome 7 year run on TV if you needed a reference point). When designing the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop – the goal was to create something beautiful without sacrificing the ergonomic benefits provided by the industry-renowned Natural Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse.
The Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is a combination of the Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and the Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse. The keyboard incorporates a split layout. As you can see in the above photo – it’s quite unique. When I first laid eyes on the keyboard, it looked as though it came from the future with the way the keyboard was split. Then when I put my hands on it, it felt like the keyboard naturally “fit” my hands. This split keyboard layout is designed to help position the wrists and forearms in a natural, relaxed position.
The palm rest is cushioned and the keyboard has a “domed” shape, as shown above, to reduce wrist pronation. Matter a fact, the internal codename for the keyboard was “Manta Ray” because as you can see, it resembles a manta ray. It also allows for reverse-tilt angles to promote a straight, neutral wrist position. All these adjustments to a traditional keyboard put your body in the best possible position for comfort and ergonomics.
The keyboard is optimized for Windows and features hotkeys at the top for quick access to the charms in Windows 8 (and Windows 8.1) as well as media playback and snap controls for multitasking.
And the number pad is separate – allowing you to move it out of the way if you aren’t using it. This also adds ergonomic benefits – helping reduce the potential for shoulder rotation injuries.
The Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse is also designed for healthy computing with a unique ergonomic shape that encourages natural postures. The mouse is taller than most mice to reduce the contact between desktop surface and the underside of your hand, which helps minimize carpal tunnel pressure. And the angle of the mouse puts the forearm in a more relaxed position. All these ergonomic benefits should change the way you feel when using a mouse for long periods of time. The mouse also features the Windows button for quick access to your Start screen in Windows 8, a back button for quick navigation, and a four-way scroll wheel (horizontal and vertical scrolling).
The Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop will be available in August 2013 for an suggested retail price of $129.95 (U.S.). The Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse will also be available separately for an suggested retail price of $59.95 (U.S.).
For more information – click here.
Additionally, you can find some really good tips on setting up your workspace to make it more comfortable, and on helping to choose the right keyboard and mouse by visiting our healthy computing website.
And without further ado – here is the infographic I mentioned above with some interesting data points and facts on being comfortable while you work at your PC:
Side note: Above images of the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop were taken with my Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone!
Updated November 7, 2014 7:13 pm