Is RSI rescue in apps, or hardware?

Given the fact that there’s an ‘app for everything’, one would have thought that the software application developer community would, by now, have spent more time working on anti-RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) apps to keep us protected from too much keyboard time.

Yes of course there is touchscreen and voice, but many of us still use keyboards all the time, especially those who spend their days down on the command line.

Pain diaries

The unfortunate reality is, if you happen to go sniffing around any of the major app stores looking for RSI-related apps, most of the software is flaky stuff related to hand exercises, yoga and stretching or so-called ‘pain diaries’.

What we might have (arguably, reasonably) expected was some form of collaboration platform that could plug into the apps we use all day long and alert us as to when we should stand up, move around and so on.

But not so much, so that’s why the following was of interest.

BakkerElkhuizen S-board 840

The BakkerElkhuizen S-board 840 Design USB keyboard that is described as compact i.e. meaning that it doesn’t include a numeric pad, which means the mouse can be placed much closer to the keyboard.

Research has shown that 90% of keyboard users rarely use the numeric pad. This means the S-Board 840 Design USB compact keyboard has greater comfort as it reduces the reaching distance to the mouse which significantly reduces strain on the shoulder and forearm.

Its design means its keys have dark letters on a light backgrounds which make them easier to read and are proven to contribute to increased productivity…. hmm, we don’ quite buy that claim, but let’s go on.


According to the supporting materials, “[The product’s] user-friendly keys include an extra wide space-bar and user-friendly positioned arrow keys. With many shortcuts, it’s the ultimate office, home and portable keyboard that makes typing feel pleasurable and fluid.  At just 2 cm thick it’s lightweight and fits easily in laptop bags . Lay-outs include US, UK, DE, BE, FR, Sw, Ge and others.”

User opinion

What is actually really nice about this product, if perhaps you are over 40-years of age, is that it kind of feels like the first keyboard you ever used on a bigger clunkier computer back in the 1980s. It has movement, but that movement is solid yet light. If you can remember the Research Machines 380z, well maybe a bit like that but with a more modern touch.

The CWDN blog is also trialling two vertical desk units from Varidesk and Ergotron, both of which we will aim to report on as hardware, but from a software perspective where possible.


The BakkerElkhuizen S-board 840 comes with multimedia keys and 2 USB ports (USB hub).