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One of the feature that kinesis advertises for their Kinesis Advantage Pro Contoured Keyboard is:

Vertical key layout - keys are arranged in vertical columns to reflect natural motions of your fingers

Typematrix keyboard get advised with the sentence:

The Matrix Architecture (straight vertical key columns) increases typing accuracy and decreases wrist distortion.

Is there research that supports the notion that a vertical key layout is more ergonomic than the conventional key layout?

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    The quoted text doesn't actually make the questioned claim. Perhaps you'd like to quote something a bit more relevant? – Flimzy Dec 2 '13 at 0:27
  • I do think that claiming something reflects the natural motion of your fingers is a claim about ergonomics. – Christian Dec 2 '13 at 0:39
  • Perhaps. But even that isn't a very meaningful claim, without some objective measure of "ergonomic." I think there are much better claims made on that site. Such as Its unique contoured design reduces the force and stressful postures that contribute to discomfort and limit productivity. That's a much more concrete claim, that can be addressed. – Flimzy Dec 2 '13 at 0:41
  • when in a "natural" position on your (conventional) keyboard (index fingers on F and J) then the wrists and knuckles will be at an angle compared to the home row and your fingers will extend at an angle compared vertical; in other words it would only be more "ergonomic" when the home position of the hands is further aways from each other – ratchet freak Dec 2 '13 at 10:03
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    @Christian the claim that "the keys' arrangement reflects the natural motion" is very different from being ergonomic. Being ergonomic means that "reflecting the natural motion" is an effective way to "maximize productivity by minimizing operator fatigue and discomfort". They are not explicitly claiming that in the quote. The question would be better if you clarified if you are questioning the effectiveness of the layout in reflecting the natural finger motion, or the ergonomic value of reflecting it, in which case you need to find a different quote, imo, for example the one suggested by Flimzy – Sklivvz Dec 2 '13 at 11:16

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