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Should I have the Feet on my keyboard in or out?

What do you think? Feet in or out?
An often-heard question is: “should I fold the feet of my keyboard in or out?” To answer this question, we must first go back in time. Since the early 1980s, keyboards are required to have feet. The ISO standard (ISO 9241‐410) states that the height of the back of a keyboard has to be adjustable.

The ISO standard also states that:
  • The back of a keyboard has to be adjustable; the angle has to be between 0 and 15°, although an angle of 5-12° is recommended.
  • The height of a keyboard at the level of the middle row of keys cannot be more than 3 centimetres.

Back then, this requirement was introduced because employees were used to typing on raised keys, as with the typewriters of old. Since then, all keyboards come with little feet. The ISO standard requires that all keyboards have feet. When should you use these? Are the rules regarding their use or is it a matter of personal preference?
Pros and cons
Let’s start with the benefit of folding out a keyboard’s feet. It is important to distinguish between people who can type “blindly” and those who cannot do that and type with two fingers instead. For the latter, the benefit of folding out their keyboard's feet is that they can see the keys better. At the same time, there is a downside to folding out the feet.  When you do so, you may bend your wrists too far backwards as you type. This posture is tiring and puts more strain on your wrist joints. The question therefore is whether the benefit of typing with your keyboard's feet folded out outweighs the downside of doing so. People who can type without looking at their keyboard do not need the feet all.
Our recommendation
Keep the feet of your keyboard folded in to avoid unnecessary strain on your wrists. Make sure your keyboard is not too thick. The correct way to type is with your wrists in a neutral and relaxed position. If you find it more comfortable to type with the feet folded out, make sure the angle of your keyboard does not exceed 12°. Folding the feet in or out is not a crucial aspect of creating a good ergonomic workstation. It partly depends on your personal preference or what you are used to.

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