What if you could protect yourself from something terrible that affects millions each year?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is something experienced by up to six percent of the population. And this is just one of many things that can happen to your body when you must repeatedly type at a computer, day after day.
Many of us have jobs that require such typing. And when we get home, we have a home office where we end up typing even more. All the time, we may unknowingly be putting our bodies in danger.
However, you can prevent this from happening by getting keyboard trays for your home office. Wondering if a keyboard tray is right for your own home? Keep reading to discover the many benefits!
What Are Keyboard Trays?
A keyboard tray is a special platform that fits beneath your desktop. From there, it allows you to position your mouse and keyboard away from the desktop itself.
This type of under-desk keyboard tray has become more popular in recent years. Some prefer these trays because they make working at their desk more comfortable. Others prefer an ergonomic design that can keep their bodies from developing physical ailments.
The adjustability of these trays gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to where you position everything. For this reason, these trays have also become popular among those who have switched to using a standing desk (more on this soon).
How Do Keyboard Trays Work?
Most keyboard trays are typically mounted to sliders. This allows users to pull out the keyboard and mouse as needed. And with adjustable trays, you can experiment with different heights until you find the one that's just right.
Depending on the size of your home office, a desk with keyboard tray may be an attractive choice because it means the keyboard takes up less room. Or you may want to make working at home a bit more comfortable.
Still on the fence about whether you need a desk keyboard tray? Let's take a closer look at the different benefits so you can make up your mind!
1. Get Your Mouse and Keyboard at the Right Height
Some of the benefits of keyboard trays are more obvious than others. For example, the main thing that draws people to these trays in the first place is that they help you adjust the position of your keyboard and mouse.
Without this adjustability, you are largely at the mercy of your existing desk as well as your office chair. If you find the angles you are working at uncomfortable or inconvenient, there is little you can do about it.
With keyboard trays, though, you can adjust everything to your heart's content. If nothing else, this helps you take more control of your work-from-home experience.
2. Promote Better Posture
You may have noticed that keyboard trays are often advertised as ergonomic accessories. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that these trays help promote better posture.
Posture is important when you are sitting at your desk for long periods of time. If you sit in the right position, you can keep your blood flowing and keep yourself comfortable. Unfortunately, many find themselves slouching and leaning forward, which causes pain from strained muscles.
Over time, sitting like this can hurt your posture and cause other physical problems. But with keyboard trays, you can achieve better posture and better comfort while you work.
3. A Cheaper Ergonomic Solution
For many working from home, ergonomic furniture and accessories are a double-edged sword. On one hand, everyone can agree that ergonomic upgrades are worth it in the long term. On the other hand, some of the ergonomic products on the market are a bit too expensive for the average person.
This is another reason we really love a good keyboard tray. These trays are very affordable. On top of that, they are easy to install, so you don't have to call in a specialist.
If nothing else, we encourage you to compare the cost of a keyboard tray for a desk with the cost of visiting the doctor again and again for carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis. In the long run, a keyboard tray more than pays for itself.
4. Keep Your Arms in a Comfortable Position
Ever notice that your arms hurt after a long day at work? One reason this tends to happen is the placement of your mouse and keyboard.
When the mouse and keyboard are too far away, you'll have to reach that much further to access them. You may not notice the pain right away, but once you get home, your arms may be exhausted from all that reaching.
Once you have a desk with keyboard tray, though, you can keep your mouse and keyboard in the perfect position. This lets you comfortably rest your arms instead of always reaching forward, and this can make you more comfortable.
5. Get Your Hands in the Right Position
Of course, your hands are even likelier to experience pain at the end of the day than your arms. The main reason for this is that you may be keeping your hands in what is known as the positive position. Despite "positive" being part of the name, this position is bad because it causes stress on your hands and leads to potential injuries.
With a keyboard tray, you can type on your keyboard in a neutral or even a negative position. This is going to feel more natural for you. And it significantly reduces your risk of injury (something anyone that spends much time in front of a keyboard should be concerned with).
6. Fight Off Carpal Tunnel
Earlier, we touched on the fact that keyboard trays can help you fight off carpal tunnel syndrome. But how, exactly, does this process work?
Carpal tunnel syndrome doesn't appear out of thin air. Instead, it occurs after you apply pressure too often to your median nerve. This often sneaks up on people, appearing first as a general tingling or numbness before escalating to more intense pain.
With a keyboard tray, you can adjust to the right angle so you are no longer putting pressure on your median nerve. And just like that, your chances of developing carpal tunnel go down in a big way.
7. Keyboard Trays Are Perfect No Matter Your Height
It's possible for people of all heights to need special ergonomic furniture and accessories. But it's especially important for shorter people.
When you're short, you must use desks, chairs, and other equipment designed for taller people. And even if you try to fix the problem by purchasing other chairs or other desks, you can't be completely sure if this will fix the problem.
This isn't an issue with keyboard trays, though. Because they are adjustable, these trays are perfect no matter your height. You get to enjoy all of the comfort and non of the hassle!
8. Great for Standing Desks
In recent years, standing desks have become more popular. And those who work from home really enjoy such desks because it allows them to squeeze in some daily exercise as they work.
However, switching to a standing desk is more difficult than you might imagine. You need to get a desk that's the right height, an adjustable monitor...the list goes on!
With keyboard trays, you can rest assured they are perfect for your standing desk needs. This lets you get back to work and enjoy the health benefits of standing rather than sitting.
9. Free Up Space
We touched on this earlier, but it bears repeating. If you are worried about saving space in your home office, having a desk with keyboard tray may be the perfect solution.
That's because when you're not using your keyboard or mouse, you can tuck the tray back under the desk. This helps free up some of the desk space you would otherwise use just for basic computer equipment.
As an added bonus, keyboard trays help to give your home office a less cluttered look. And you might be surprised by how many visitors enjoy your new minimalist aesthetic.
10. Avoid Developing Tendinitis
In many ways, tendinitis is a close cousin to carpal tunnel. That's because tendinitis is also caused by repetitive movements (in this case, ones that irritate your tendons, which is why we call it "tendinitis").
And a keyboard tray protects you from developing tendinitis the same way that it keeps you from developing carpal tunnel. When you can adjust your keyboard and mouse to the perfect angle, you never have to worry about irritation as you work.
Even if your hands feel fine now, keep in mind that it can take a long time for tendinitis to develop. Why not protect yourself now and give yourself some peace of mind?
11. Become More Effective and Efficient
Many CEOs and managers were pleasantly surprised when they switched to everyone working from home. Before that, these business leaders were worried that the switch would hurt productivity.
In reality, home workers were more productive than ever. For many of those workers, this happened once they realized that the more efficient they were, the quicker they could sit back and relax.
When you have to constantly fiddle with your keyboard position or adjust your hand and wrist positions, it cuts into your productivity. But with a keyboard tray, you can become more effective and efficient at your daily tasks.
12. Keep Your Arms and Wrists Off the Desk
You might not have to deal with anything quite like carpal tunnel or tendinitis (at least, not yet). However, you've probably experienced annoying pain at work from time to time. This pain occurs when you place your arms on the surface of the desk.
This happens primarily when the keyboard and mouse are located further away from you. Rather than push the keyboard and mouse closer, many users end up stretching their arms forward instead.
Over time, this causes your arms to drop down and places more painful pressure on your wrists. Fortunately, keyboard trays bring the keyboard and mouse right in front of you and help you avoid this unwanted pain.
13. Keep Eye Strain At Bay
Chances are that you never predicted a keyboard tray could help you avoid eye strain. However, this is exactly what happens thanks to the positions of your keyboard and mouse versus the position of your monitor.
When your monitor is at the wrong angle, it forces you to adjust your neck to look at it. Over time, this can lead to both neck pain and eye strain.
When you have an under-desk keyboard tray, though, you are typing at a lower angle. This lets you drop your adjustable chair down and view the monitor at a better angle. No more threat of pain in your neck or eyes!
14. Boost Your Overall Comfort
So far, we have focused on very specific benefits that keyboard trays have to offer. Put it all together, though, and something is very clear: these keyboard trays help make you more comfortable.
This is very important if you spend a lot of time working in your home office. Let's face it: if you're going to be sitting at the same desk for hours each day, you should at least be comfortable while you do it!
15. Plenty of Options to Choose From
Sometimes, people hesitate to buy a keyboard tray because they saw one before and didn't like the design. If this sounds like you, it's important to know that you have plenty of keyboard tray options to choose from!
This includes traditional trays that fit under the desk. But you can also go with standing keyboard trays as well. Whatever your preferences, it's possible to find a keyboard tray you'll enjoy.
Get the Keyboard Trays You Need Today!
Now you know about the awesome benefits of keyboard trays in your home office. But do you know where you can find the trays you've been looking for?
At Uncaged Ergonomics, we specialize in office-friendly ergonomic solutions. To discover how we can make you more comfortable as you work, come contact us today!