KINESIS FREESTYLE KEYBOARD RESEARCH STUDY
To be presented by David Brodie*, MS, CPE, Atlas Ergonomics
Friday, November 20
2009, at 12:45-1:45 PM, as part of Session FB2, “An Evidence-Based Approach to Maximizing Purchases”
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
:1. Evaluate the “natural” orientation of a fully-splittable, tentable keyboard by a large group of intensivecomputer users (programmers).2. Measure quantitative changes in posture and joint angles when changing to and self-configuring the newkeyboard.3. Measure the impact of the new keyboard on comfort, productivity and its overall acceptability.
~80 employees in a large U.S. computer software company.
This was a multi-month case/control study of the Kinesis Freestyle splittable keyboard & VIP Accessory kit(which provides clip-on padded palm rests and tenting accessory). An initial physical assessment and photodocumentation was performed at each workstation when the study began. Detailed online surveys wereprovided before and after the study and automated brief status surveys were administered weekly throughoutthe duration of the study. Quantitative data- logging software continuously recorded keystroke counts andmouse actions.Experimental subjects were provided the Freestyle keyboard in a splayable configuration (two sides attachedby a removable pivoting clip) and with the separate accessory kit. This kit included two snap-on padded palmrests and two snap-on "V-lifters" which rotate between 10 and 15 degrees of tenting . Subjects in smallgroups were shown how the product could be configured and were encouraged to self-configure product attheir workstations.The initial randomly-selected control group was allowed to switch to the Freestyle keyboard for a secondphase of the study. Results for the two groups were evaluated separately and then combined.
KEYBOARD USED PREVIOUSLY:
- 70% used a Microsoft Comfort Curve keyboard (non-tented, 6% front approach angle due to curving keyrows)- 30% use a standard Dell keyboard
(for most participants over 12 to 13 weeks):- Anthropometric variables- Workstation setup- Discomfort (subjective)- Performance (subjective and quantitative)- Acceptability (subjective)
STUDY CONCLUSIONS (PRELIMINARY):
- Wrist Angles improved dramatically with Freestyle. Average ulnar deviation before and after switching toFreestyle were:- Right: 34.21°
7.5° (71% reduction)- Left: 28.37°
13.15° (54% reduction)