Dvorak keyboard - one cure for RSI and bad typing habits


Super Moderator
A few years ago I was developing a bad case of pain in my wrists from a lifetime habit of typing with a terrible hand position. I switched to the Dvorak keyboard. Clicking on an old bookmark brought this experience back to me today, and I thought I'd share it here.

The pic shows the Dvorak keyboard layout. It was designed in 1936 as a "more efficient" alternative to Qwerty. By bundling vowels under the left fingers, it promotes alternation between the hands, and purportedly allows faster typing. It never did catch on extensively, perhaps because its advantages were never enough to overcome the inertia and network effects of Qwerty.

But for the last 25 years, with PCs, it is easy to map any keyboard layout to a standard keyboard. All OSs nowadays allow simple software switching of keyboard layouts.

In mid-2002, my wrists were hurting every evening after spending the day on the computer. I didn't exactly hunt-and-peck, but had to look at the keys, and my typing speed was sometimes frustratingly slow (i.e., when text-chatting). Some blog gushed about Dvorak and I decided to give it a try. During a long weekend (possibly Labor day weekend) I did these lessons twice.

The first week back at work was a bit difficult, but within a month my typing speed was better than it had ever been with Qwerty. Wrist pain's gone since then. Thanks Dvorak.


Very interesting. I think I might give this a try... but how to know which key is which without "messing up" my work keyboard? I'll bet I can find an overlay...