Freedom of movement. Our guiding principles to develop the most innovative ergonomic keyboard revolve around freeing your wrists to maintain a natural movement all day long.
Study, surveys, and trials were performed to perfect the concept. By allowing the wrists and forearms to move freely while resting on a comfortable pad, wrist and finger deviations are dramatically reduced, helping to prevent and relieve RSI, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, inflammation, and other physical symptoms. Below is a brief overview of the anatomy of the hands, wrists, and forearms, interact with computer keyboards. Understanding the anatomy of our hands forms the basis of the design.
NOTE:The information provided on this website and the below explanation of keyboard ergonomics does not constitute medical advice. It is intended to provide readers with a general understanding of unhealthy ergonomic typing positions and how the product seeks to improve these poor ergonomic positions. If you suffer from any pain, do consult your doctor. Please see our disclaimer concerning the use of our product and information contained on this website.
A Comparative Study
The archaic design of standard keyboard layouts create many unhealthy stressed positions for hands and wrists. Prolonged use of the keyboard in these stressed positions frequently result in harmful injury, slowing productivity and - in the worst case - altering careers.
The Zergotech Freedom solves these stressed positions to produce the most innovative, intelligent and comfortable keyboard available.
Solving Vertical Reach
The main feature of the Freedom keyboard are the patented Sliding Palm Rests. Simple yet effective, the sliders allow your hands to move freely around the keyboard providing a hover like experience to your fingers - and a joy to use.
Standard keyboards and fixed palm rests limit the position of your hands and wrists to one single position, meaning most of the reach needs to be performed by limited finger movements. Reaching the top numerical and function rows, fingers need to be completely outstretched to reach the desired keys. Likewise, the "ZXCV" row requires compression of the fingers to strike keys.
The room provided in the slider bay allows our Sliding Palm Rests to move your hands to a more comfortable position giving your fingers enough room to strike any key on without over stretching or uncomfortably compressing your fingers.
Standard keyboards require outstretched hands to reach the top rows, while compressed fingers to reach the bottom rows.
The sliding palm rests allow your hands to hover to the top rows without your fingers over-stretching. Your fingers remain in a comfortable and natural position.
The Freedom retains a comfortable starting position on the home row.
There is no more need to compress your fingers to reach the bottom "ZXCV" row. Slide down to allow your hands an easy and natural reach.
Solving Horizontal Deviations
Repeated deviations and extended periods of over-reach place excessive strain on the wrist and hands, and are the largest source of RSI pain. A neutral and comfortable position aligns the fingers, wrist and forearms in a straight line.
Standard keyboards are asymmetrical in width, with the right side of the keyboard has an extra inch of width from the center. Three of the most commonly used keys are the Enter key, Backspace key, Right Control key, and Delete key, and are all located to the far right. Not only does this require an extraordinary amount of deviation and over-reach, this also produces excessive and unbalanced typing work allocated for the right hand.
The Freedom solves this by relocating these frequently used keys to the under-utilised left hand, creating both a balance of work for each hand, and removing the need for extended over reach.
The Freedom places the Enter key (swappable with the Spacebar key), the Backspace Key and the Delete key to the left hand.
Reaching for the Backspace, Enter and Delete keys while your palms are fixed in position on desk results in very damaging movements under prolonged use.
Even further to the right are the navigation and numpad keys. Reaching these keys requires the arm to physically lift from a position in-front of the body to beyond the right of shoulder width.
The Freedom integrates the navigation and numpad keys into the main board increasing efficiency, reducing the overall width of the keyboard, and avoiding unnecessary arm and shoulder movements.
Reaching for the Navigation Keys.
Reaching for the Numpad.
Solving Asymmetry of Finger Travel
Standard issue flat keyboards have asymmetrical offset rows of keys. This creates an asymmetry of finger reach. The “ASDF” row is the starting home row for typing. The bottom “ZXCV” row has keys that are exactly offset to the centre of the home row and has symmetrically offset reach. The top two rows, however, namely the number row and the “QWERTY” row, are asymmetrically offset from centre and to the left of the home row.
Hence, fingers on the left hand have a tighter and uncomfortable under-reach to the keys above, while the fingers on the right hand need to extend further with an over-reach.
Not just the poor physical placement of keys, standard keyboards also produce an asymmetry in the amount of work each hand performs, with the bulk of typing strokes performed by the right hand.
The Freedom solves this with a familiar, yet unique, design registered semi-orthogonal layout. The top four rows have been aligned vertically to completely remove any asymmetry of reach, while the bottom "ZXCV" row remains unchanged as it is already has symmetry of finger reach. Maintaining this row unchanged gives the user a more familiar experience compared to other outrageous ergonomic keyboard designs.
Asymmetrically offset top rows cause fingers to reach left.
The Zergo Freedom aligns the top rows for symmetry of reach, while the offset of the already symmetrical bottom character row remains unchanged.
Solving Wrist Extension
Wrist extension occurs when the back of the hand reaches toward the outside of the forearm. This is a very common position for desktop users where the palms are rested on the desk while simultaneously reaching for the keys at a height. To maintain this position, forearm muscles would need to remain in a flexed position contributing to fatigue. Prolonged periods in this position can give rise to wear and inflammation in wrists. A wrist neutral position places the hand aligned with the direction of the forearm.
Most people resort to raised fixed palm rests to help overcome this issue. This solution is not complete as the wrists remain fixed on the desk contributing to over-reach and deviations.
The Zergotech Freedom solves these problems by introducing Sliding Palm Rests which both raise the wrist and gives freedom of movement to your hands.
Wrist extension for prolonged periods is a leading cause of wrist pain. Wrist extension is most harmful the greater the height of the keys relative to the desk.
The Zergotech Freedom lifts your wrists to be inline with with the keys, while also freeing your wrists to slide around the keyboard.
Forearm Pronation is the position of the forearm which is turned inward toward the body. This is a common position that is required to operate a flat standard keyboard. Pronation requires constant flexion and contraction of forearm muscles to maintain this position, exerting most of its pressure at the wrist. A neutral forearm position is one which resembles a handshake posture. It requires no flexion of forearm muscles, reducing general typing fatigue.The Freedom's split design allows for inner tenting producing an incline to match the natural position of your arms.
The Freedom is never completely flat with it's default position having a small slant such that the keyboard feels natural while retaining a familiar typing experience. There is also the option of extending the feet for an increased tented angle.
A standard keyboard requires forearms and wrists pronated flat with the desk.
The Freedom's default position has a slight lift, while an increased angle is enabled with extendable feet.
A pronated position requires constant flexion to maintain. This is required for flat keyboards.
Solving Slouching And Shoulder Pain
Standard flat keyboards are the primary cause of slouching at the desk. The healthiest seated posture requires a straight back, open chest, and aligned forearms and hands. Unfortunately, these cannot all be achieved by a flat keyboard all at once.
With a flat keyboard close to your body, while you are able to sit upright, the large angle that forearms approach the keyboard result in wrists being angled outward (ulnar deviation) in a highly uncomfortable position. To relieve this awkward position, the keyboard is often pushed further away from the body and toward the back of the desk. While this does gives your forearms and wrists a slightly more aligned angle, this comes at the expense of your back and shoulders shoulching in an effort to reach they keyboard.
Split keyboards solve the postural problems, although not all split keyboards address issues at the fingers and wrists. For those comfortable typing in a wider open split position close to shoulder width, the keyboard is able to be aligned comfortably with your forearms, close to your body, and opening up your chest for healthy upright seated position.
The Zergo Freedom is split to allow typing at shoulder width to give you a correct posture. If you prefer the keyboard to be closer to your body while sitting upright, the Freedom is rotated inward to comfortably align with your forearms.
A flat keyboard close to your body allows you to sit upright, but is uncomfortable and unhealthy for your wrists.
Pushing a flat keyboard away from your body might relieve the pressure on your wrists, but this requires your arms to over-reach and produce slouching shoulders.
The Freedom's default rotated angle ensures all postures are corrected. The keyboard is close to your body allowing you to sit upright with a straight back. The angle of the keyboard keeps your arms and hands aligned.
Typing with the boards at shoulder width also ensures all postures are correct. Your back is upright and shoulders square, while simultaneously opening up your chest and aligning your forearms and wrists.
Solving Right Lean
In addition to poor slouching, standard full layout keyboards have extra width to the right. Most people place the mouse to the right of the keyboard. Users must then extended their arm a significant distance to the right to operate the mouse. This produces a slouched lean on the right arm.
The Zergo Freedom integrates the navigation keys and numpad to produce a more compact design. This extra desk space allows the users to bring the mouse closer to the body, relieving an uncomfortable right lean.
With the mouse located to the right, it is beyond an already extended keyboard, requiring the right arm to extend beyond shoulder width. This often results in a slouch to the right producing both shoulder and arm pain.
With a keyboard of shorter width, the mouse can be brought closer the body and within shoulder width. This produces an upright and healthy posture.