Key Resistance Exercise From My E-Book
This exercise is taught on page 32 of Typing Without Repetitive Strain e-book.
Before starting, please note that this is only one of a number of vital elements of Natural Typing, and that I am teaching it out of context and without leading up to it step by step as in the e-Book. To take proper advantage of RSI FREE Typing, all the elements need to be understood rather than just one.
However learning one element may give a glimpse of the effectiveness and uniqueness of the overall method.
Also, please understand that this is an exercise to improve typing – it is not a description of how to type. The knowledge gained may be incorporated into normal rapid typing with a view to making it less injurious.
Step 1: Realize that the whole aim of typing is usually to make characters appear on the screen – or at other times to influence a feature on the screen in some way. There is no other reason for typing except to induce a visual reaction on the screen.
Step 2: Touch one of the keys with one of your fingertips. As you touch a key, make sure you feel the surface. Your fingertips are very sensitive. Cultivate that sensitivity.
Step 3: Now when you're ready, depress a key very slowly – as slowly as you can. It's not necessary to depress the key fully – three quarters of the way down is far enough.
Notice that you can feel something happening on the way down. Your are experiencing the sensation of overcoming the resistance of the key to pressure.
The resistance of each key as it moves down is so slight that you cannot be harmed by it and typing injuries cannot be caused by it. In other words, the design and action of the keyboard presented to you by the manufacturer is not the cause of typing injuries! The job you are intending to do – which is to get a reaction on the screen – can easily be accomplished with no risk of injury!
Step 4: Depress several of the keys very slowly with your fingers, carefully touching the surface first, then feeling the resistance on the way down. If you do this in a word processing program, the characters will appear on the screen even though the keys are only depressed three quarters of the way! Most of us do not realize this until shown.
What if you were able to do all your typing in this way, avoiding doing any more work than just overcoming the slight resistance of each key? You would then be able to type without strain or injury!
A common cause of strain comes from assuming that the characters appear on the screen when the keys are struck down hard. I have just shown you that this is incorrect.
As a result of this misunderstanding, many people hit each key all the way down and continue with a hefty follow through; pressing down hard in an effort to make sure the characters will appear on the screen. The result is that the strength of the arms is used (and in some cases even the strength of the shoulders and back) – totally unnecessarily! Every time a character is typed, the fingers, hands and forearms are trapped between the strength of the upper arms above and the immovable desk below. This is an injurious situation that causes repetitive strain.
Furthermore, it's wasted effort! If the aim of typing is to produce characters on the screen, and the characters are produced before the keys are fully depressed, energy used for any other purpose (such as hitting the keys and then digging into the keyboard and desk under it) is misdirected energy. The energy that is being thought to accomplish a task is in fact harmfully directed energy – the task already having been accomplished! Timing is inaccurate and typing much less efficient than it could be.
If you didn't understand the importance of touch, key resistance, the fact that the characters appear on the screen before the keys are fully depressed, and the undesirability of such terms as ‘strike', ‘hit', ‘press', ‘punch' and ‘pound', you have learned several important things already!
To type efficiently and harmlessly, the resistance of the keys must be felt. Inner feelings are more important than outward appearances.
The situation described above is not the only possible cause of injury. Once you get in touch with the physical sensations, you will discover what needs to be corrected and how.
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