- Reputation: 1
- Registered: 16-Dec-2021
- Posts: 6
I'm a lifelong QWERTY user on the cheapest of cheap run-of-the-mill keyboards. I have RSI and I'm on the hunt for a new typing setup. I'm over 100 wpm on QWERTY, including punctuation and numbers, if that means anything. I have never used any other layout.
After way too much research comparing ISTR, MTGAP, Beakl 15, and so on, I finally decided that Colemak DHm made the most sense to learn first for a variety of reasons, so I started the lessons on colemak.academy a few days ago.
I program in Python and R using QWERTY all day and I have for years (and have managed the pain for the last 15 years through stretches and resting). However, after starting to practice Colemak just 10-20 minutes a day, I saw a definite increase in pain and tension in my wrists, forearms, and hands.
I'm curious: has anyone else noticed *more* pain after switching to Colemak? I'm still using the same cheap $9 keyboard as I was using before, and I've only been practicing the layout a few minutes a day. The pain increase started immediately after the lessons and increases every time I practice.
My less harebrained theory is that there is some tension in learning the new approach because I don't have the muscle memory yet, but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this.
My more harebrained theory: I played classical piano for many years. I'm accustomed to letting my wrists float above the board and my fingers gently curve down. When I type on QWERTY, I often find my entire hand moving rather than individual fingers reaching. If the most common keys are moved to the home row, then it all becomes finger action instead of a more whole-hand movement... so maybe that's more strain on smaller muscles, or something?
Has anyone thought about this before, or am I completely off my rocker? I'm only trying to understand why I would see a pain increase after starting a new layout. I'm interested in the most ergonomic layout possible, and I don't care if punctuation, numbers, or letters need to be moved. I figured I can reprogram any shortcuts with ZXCV that I need. I saw Halmak, Workman, etc., but many of them were too young to have their kinks worked out, so Colemak DHm seemed like the best idea, but if anyone has other thoughts, I'm all ears. I hope to buy a split column-staggered board at some point, but I need to research and save my funds for now while I investigate layouts. It didn't make sense to spend $300 on a keyboard and keep using QWERTY.