The first typewriter was mass produced in the 1870’s. The original QWERTY layout minimized frequently used pairs of keys from being positioned side-by-side. When adjacent keys were pressed in close succession, they tended to jam on each other. The QWERTY layout was, in fact, an attempt to increase typing speed.
Current keyboards don’t have the same mechanical obstacles of typewriters. However, the QWERTY layout has endured.
Interestingly, with the evolution from typewriters to computers, mice and numeric keypads have been integrated in a desire for increased speed. For some workers, their layout can contribute to fatigue and discomfort.
Our greatest challenge is that we spend too much time sitting, alternately keying and mousing. The type of key layout is much less important than using proper postures and taking frequent microbreaks to interrupt awkward, static postures day after day after day after day…