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I've been noticing for the past few years that after typing relatively exclusively on laptop keyboards at home for nearly a decade, certain fingers are somewhat weaker when typing, to the point that typing certain key combinations results in problems sometimes:

  • liting (lifting)
  • lauhing (laughing)
  • uit (quit)

I experience similar issues with other fingers (e.g. missing the . key and extraneous stretching for the Y and 6 keys), so it isn't just that I'm right-handed. The problem is compounded when I'm entering passphrases and can't see the letters I'm entering, resulting in invalid input (e.g. asword rather than password).

I seem to experience fewer problems when using the US Dvorak layout—though the issues don't entirely disappear, like how I just typed isss instead of issues. Moreover, my speed is ~10-15 WPM slower than my QWERTY speed pre-Dvorak according to several typing tests I've taken, though I do make fewer typos (presumably because of this overarching issue with not hitting keys hard enough). I am currently migrating back to QWERTY because I've been having trouble typing on another person's keyboard where I can't easily switch to Dvorak.

It's almost as if some of my fingers are frozen sometimes, limiting my fingers' mobility/actuation force. Would my fingers benefit from a mechanical keyboard with key switches like the Cherry MX Brown or Blue switches, where more force is required to depress those keys? The idea is to strengthen the troublesome fingers, but maybe I've been hitting the laptop keys too hard where I'm used to a normal desktop keyboard?

closed as primarily opinion-based by harrymc, DavidPostill Nov 10 '17 at 21:54

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I suggest seeing a doctor first. Here is not the right place for medical advice. – harrymc Nov 10 '17 at 21:10
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    @harrymc I asked questions, you will find the exercise advice in the answer below... – Solar Mike Nov 10 '17 at 21:15
  • @SolarMike: You are taking too much responsibility upon yourself. – harrymc Nov 10 '17 at 21:23
  • This is a good question, but I'm not sure this site is the place where you will find experts. The site's focus is computer hardware and software rather than human physiology. It may attract answers from people who have opinions, and people who do a lot of typing, but it will be hard to know who has any actual education/training in this area. Even the voting, which serves to separate good and bad answers, is likely to be opinion-based rather than fact-based. – fixer1234 Nov 10 '17 at 22:10
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Health Stack Exchange might be a more appropriate place for such questions.

But this should not replace seeing a doctor and having a physical examination. The early diagnosis of health problems is very important.

  • I totally agree. I know from experience that other parts of the body can be the reason you feel pain or have lesser muscle strength in another part. For example stiff muscles in the legs can cause for back pain problems, where a bad posture can cause problems in the legs and arms, which can even move to hand and feet. So yes, seeing a doctor is definitely the best thing anyone can do here. – LPChip Nov 10 '17 at 23:04
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This likely has more to do with training your fingers to have proper muscle memory and improved strength. Doubt a keyboard is going to do that for you as much as specific exercises for typing.

You should consider the following exercises for your fingers.

  • Warm Up - Before exercising in the gym, it is important to warm up the major and minor muscles of the body. Typing is a workout for the fingers. Lay your hand flat on a table with all fingers touching. Spread your fingers apart as far as possible and hold for three seconds. Close fingers together. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

  • Stretching Fingers - Stretching fingers is just as important as warming up the muscles of the hand. To stretch your finger muscles, hold your hands facing each other. Touch the thumb from your right hand to the thumb of your left hand. Touch the first finger on your right hand to the first finger on the left hand. Repeat until all fingers are touching.

    With fingers pressed together, pull palms away from each other creating a cup shape with the fingers and palm on each hand. Starting at the fingertips, slowly move palms closer together, rolling the pressure down the fingers until all four fingers are pressed together . Hold for 10 seconds. Move back to the starting position and repeat 10 times.

  • Aerobics for Fingers - Once fingers are warmed up and stretched, it is time to start finger exercises for typing. Hold the hand in the air with fingers spread apart so it looks like a "high-five." Move just the thumb to the palm and press. Bring the thumb back out to the starting position and move the first finger to the palm and press. Move the first finger back to the starting position and repeat slowly with the remaining fingers. Fingers not pressing into the palm should be held as straight as possible. After one round of finger exercises for typing, try again a little faster. Repeat 10 times, increasing the speed of each round.
  • Weight Training for Fingers - The muscles of the hand and forearm are responsible for many finger movements on the keyboard. A simple piece of paper is all that is needed to exercise finger, hand, and forearm muscles. Grab a scrap piece of paper and crumble it into a ball with one hand. Squeeze the paper ball tight and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other hand.

Source: Finger Exercises for Typing

  • Back problems can actually cause for arm and finger muscles to become weaker. The problem does not have to be in the hand itself. – LPChip Nov 10 '17 at 23:02
  • Could be. The OP asked about finger strengthening, not what is causing the problem. That is why this question is not a good fit here. – CharlieRB Nov 11 '17 at 1:55

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