Equipping your work desk with a keyboard tray is probably the last thing you are considering when it comes to office safety and comfort. Truth is, it can help you avoid many workplace injuries.
Read further to learn more about the benefits of keyboard trays.
When you have your keyboard on a desk, you can't adjust the position of your hands and arms at all. A truly economic keyboard tray will allow you to adjust your keyboard by tilting, sliding, swiveling, and lifting it to your comfort level.
Desks are also not typically made to fit your body type. Without a tray, your hands may rest too high or too low which can cause a strain on your hands and wrists if you're typing for long periods at a time. This can lead to issues like carpal tunnel down the road.
The freedom to adjust, helps you find the proper position that your body needs to stay comfortable and healthy.
2. Proper Positioning
A keyboard tray helps you place your hands at the neutral reach zone. This is usually right above your lap.
Keeping proper posture will stave off any kind of back and neck injuries that may occur from poor posture.
You should have the keyboard tilted slightly up, this will allow your elbows to remain level with the floor. Your eyes should be lower or level with the monitor, and you should be three feet away from the screen.
This position will probably take some getting used to, but it will pay off. Finding the perfect position helps you stay comfortable at work, which allows you to work more efficiently.
3. Work More Efficiently
You will be able to work faster and more efficiently when you aren't straining to reach your keyboard. It also helps that you are comfortable while you work.
If you're constantly having to change your position while you're working, seeking comfort that you will never have, you won't be able to work. Ergonomic keyboard trays help with this.
Having a tray allows you to have more space on your desk, which again, allows you to work more efficiently.
4. Create More Desk Space
Just like you can't work if you're uncomfortable, you also can't work if you don't have the desk space for it.
Having your keyboard under the desk will free up more desk space so you can write, or read important papers. Your desk will also look a lot cleaner your mouse and keyboard wires are under your desk rather than on top.
Your desk space will look leagues more professional if you get a tray.
Now that you know how having a keyboard tray helps you work more efficiently, let's bounce back to those injuries we briefly mentioned.
5. Avoid Injuries
We hit on one issue that is associated with poor posture. Carpal Tunnel occurs when too much pressure is applied to the nerves leading from your arm to your wrist.
Tendinitis occurs when the tendons in your wrists are put under a lot of stress. This stress can be worsened by heavy amounts of typing.
This one is a little less obvious. Getting a tray can help with vision issues. As we stated above you really should sit at least 3 feet away from your computer screen.
Just about 60% of all Americans report eye strain from their screens. Getting an ergonomic keyboard stops all of these issues right in their tracks.
If you're convinced that getting a tray is a good idea for you, you need to know the different types you have to choose from.
6. Mouse-Over Desk Tray
There are a few different types of trays that you can choose from. With this type of tray, the mouse tray hovers over the number pad of your keyboard.
This one works fine if you typically use the numbers at the top of your keyboard vs. using the number pad. If your under desk space doesn't have much width at all, or if use your mouse with your left hand. The mouse tray is located there.
There is an option for you if you do typically use your number pad.
7. One-Level Desk Tray
Another tray you can choose is a One-level. It's as the name suggests, the keyboard are level with each other. This one is good if you do typically use the number pad on your keyboard.
If you want to just have access to your number pad because you use it at all, this one is probably what you want to go with.
To chose a tray there are a couple of questions you need to answer for yourself.
8. Choosing A Tray
To choose a tray, you first need to see how much space you're working with. You need more space for a One-level tray.
You also need to research and see which one fits your work needs the most. Each one fits better for a different job. If you do have a desk that adjusts in height it might not be necessary to have a tray. Not many do that, however.
Weighing pros and cons always helps in making a decision. Here are a few of those, if you're still debating.
8. Pros and Cons
We've been going through all of the pros of having a tray. They help you avoid injuries, they make your workspace neater and easier to work on. They also help you stay comfortable at work so you can work faster.
The only con to having a desk tray is sometimes it can be difficult to reach everything else on your desk when the desk tray is pulled out. That's it. That is the only con to all of the pros.
9. Benefits of Keyboard Trays
Having a keyboard tray helps you avoid many injuries that come with having bad posture. Being able to adjust the way you're sitting can help you find a perfect seating position for comfort and productivity at work.
Ergonomics Are Key
For more health benefits of ergonomic products beyond your new keyboard tray, read more on our blog.