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Top Reasons to Buy an Ergonomic Keyboard Tray

06 December 2023

You let out a dismal groan as you rub your wrists, realizing that the shooting pain that you have been enduring for the last several weeks has gone up another scale or two.

Even though you might not believe it, the positioning of your keyboard is a possible culprit for this discomfort.

If the keyboard is placed on your desk in a way that forces you to reach beyond your comfort levels, your wrist is likely to suffer. An ergonomic keyboard tray, which will allow you to place your hands in a comfortable and natural position, is an easy and effective solution to this problem.

Below are a few reasons that you should consider buying an ergonomic keyboard tray.

Top Reasons to Buy an Ergonomic Keyboard Tray:

Helps Position the Keyboard and Mouse at the Right Height:

The typical office desk is a flat table with the keyboard placed on top. In the USA, standard height for an office desk is between 29 and 30 inches, which is suitable for only a very small percentage of the working population. For most of us, this height is too high for comfort.

Initially, this might not seem like a major problem. However, within a few days of consistent use, your arms and wrists will start to scream out in protest.

An ergonomic keyboard tray allows you to place your keyboard lower than the work surface. Generally, keyboard trays can reduce the height of the keyboard by up to 4 to 6 inches, which is ideal for people who are around 5-feet tall.

Other than that, these trays are extendable, which means that you will no longer have to reach out in order to be able to type. The Clamp-On Adjustable Keyboard Tray, for instance, can extend up to 8.5" inches from the edge of the computer desk.

A second way to correct your position is buying a chair that will elevate you to the right height. But, this solution will also require you to get a comfortable footrest. Naturally, this means that this alternative fix is potentially more expensive and complex; getting a simple ergonomic keyboard tray to get the mouse and keyboard height correct is much more convenient.

Your Hands will be Negative-Tilted:

Most computer users (yourself included, probably) who do not use an ergonomic tray tend to rest their wrists on the surface of the desk when typing or operating the mouse, as opposed to placing the hands slightly above your keyboard – particularly if you use the keyboard for many hours every day. The issue is that, depending upon the keyboard height, your hands and wrists are probably positively tilted.

While using the mouse or keyboard, the best thing is to place the wrists and hands in a neutral position. This significantly reduces the amount of stress on your wrists, thereby reducing the chances of injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Until you get one, it is hard to believe that injuries resulting from incorrect mouse and keyboard usage are real. These injuries tend to sneak up on you, and can be very painful and hard to get rid of. This means that using an ergonomic keyboard tray is in both your own and your employer’s best interests.

Increased Productivity:

Using an ergonomic keyboard tray can also contribute to your work productivity in the following ways:

More Efficient Use of Space:

As a computer user, you know how rare the luxury of free desk space is these days. In order to allow organizations to accommodate as many employees as possible, computer desks keep getting smaller. Even for the tidiest and most organized of people, the commonest 30" x 60" table top is a bit of a headache. Once you add a couple of monitors, a CPU tower, light, and phone, comfortably using the keyboard and mouse becomes a mere fantasy.

The inclusion of an ergonomic keyboard tray, however, can instantly convert this fantasy into reality by freeing up space on your desk. In fact, a keyboard tray will even provide you with a bit of extra space to place a notepad if you want. When working on more paper-intensive tasks, you can simply push the tray under your desk.

Increased Working Speed:

When you have enough space to store all your working equipment and documents in an organized manner, it will become easier for you to get a hold of them whenever needed. This, of course, will allow you to work faster and get more stuff done in less time.

A less subtle way in which an ergonomic keyboard tray will boost your working speed, is by keeping you from having to take a pause every few minutes to massage your aching wrists.

Your Arms will not Rest at the Edge of the Desk Surface:

Like we mentioned, most computer users without a keyboard tray will simply place their arms and wrists on the table surface. Although the right thing to do is push the mouse and keyboard to the edge of the table, many users do the exact opposite. With time, it becomes tougher to keep the wrists above the desk surface, and the arms just tend to drop. It is unhealthy to have the wrists resting on the hard disk surface; it is equally unhealthy for the edge of the desk surface to push into the forearms.

With a keyboard tray, your body will naturally go farther away from the edge of the desk surface, which will allow you to get rid of the habit of putting your wrists and arms on that surface. So, if you continue to use a keyboard tray, the pain and discomfort in your wrists should get better over time.

Wrist Support:

A key feature of ergonomic keyboard trays is the wrist rest which allows you to place your wrists in a comfortable position as you type. Many users even tend to use the pad fulltime to place their wrists. Even though using a pad for this purpose is not recommended, it is still better than putting your wrists on the hard disk surface.

Once you start using a keyboard tray, you will notice the difference in how your wrists feel.

The Monitor can be viewed at the Correct Height:

An ergonomic workstation is one where your keyboard and monitor are placed at the ideal height for your body – this is known as dual ergonomics.

With conventional working desks, both the monitor and keyboard are set up at incorrect heights. If you are one of the few people who have an adjustable monitor stand, you will be able to elevate the monitor to the required height. However, for most people, the keyboard tray is excessively high while the monitor is positioned too low.

Adding an ergonomic keyboard tray will allow you to bring your keyboard below your desk surface. This means that, if you are using a typical height desk, you will now be able to type from a lower position. If you have been using an excessively tall chair to compensate for the excessively high desk, you can now drop the chair to the required height level. Taking these above measures will, by default, correct the position of your eyes in relation to where the monitor is placed on your desk. The additional 4 to 6 inches can make all the difference in how you view the monitor, relieving the strain that was likely being applied to your shoulders and neck.

A keyboard tray is even more desirable for people who use standing/ stand-to-sit desks. Since these desks are height-adjustable, you will be better able to maneuver the height of the monitor along with the height of your keyboard/mouse. In most cases, coupling your standing desk with an ergonomic keyboard tray is all that you need to do to attain proper dual ergonomics.

Factors to Consider when Buying an Ergonomic Keyboard Tray:

1. Mounting options: the mounting options offered by the tray should be compatible with your desk

2. Enough room for the mouse: not only do you need to place the mouse and keyboard on the same platform, but also have enough space to move the mouse around. 3. Look for a keyboard tray with a mouse platform that can be mounted from both sides – this is particularly important for left-handed mouse users

4. Adjustment options: The tray should move right and left, and up and down. The platform, meanwhile, should tilt both backward and forward

5. Platform size: Since keyboards come in many different sizes and types, make sure that your specific keyboard will easily fit on the keyboard platform

6. Track length: The tray should ensure the ideal distance between you and the keyboard (you should not be forced to reach too much)

7. Proper height: Just like the vertical distance, the horizontal distance (height) of the keyboard/mouse needs to be ideal for you.

Final Word:

An ergonomic keyboard tray is one of the most underrated and underused elements of an ergonomic workspace, and provides your hands, wrists, and arms with the relief that they are likely crying out for. We hope that this blog helped you understand all the benefits of a keyboard tray, as well as all the factors you should consider should you decide to buy one.