The average person spends nearly 1,700 hours at their computer for work.
Whether it's for work or personal use, we spend a large percentage of our day at our computer screens and keyboards. We even have a miniature keyboard that we use constantly on our phones.
However, all that repetitive use can cause strain and injury to our wrists, shoulders, or neck because of the way we contort our bodies to type.
If you suffer from any pain in your wrists or strain from sitting uncomfortably at your desk, you may want to consider an ergonomic keyboard tray.
Want to learn more? Read on to see how what an ergonomic keyboard tray is and why it would make a great addition to your office.
The Problem with Our Workspace
If you have a desk job, you will spend the majority of your time sitting in your office. However, many times our workspace is not suited to our bodies.
You may have to hunch forward to see the computer clearly or reach up to type on your keyboard. You end up accommodating your workspace and straining your body.
Our head weighs around 12 pounds. When we bend our necks 45 degrees, this can exert 50 pounds of pressure on our necks. Not only does this cause strain and discomfort on our muscles, but it also affects the way we breathe.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to creating a healthier and comfortable workplace.
According to the MayoClinic, you can do the following to adjust your workspace:
- Keep the top of the computer monitor level with your eyes so that you can see and read from it easily
- Make sure your arms and wrists are parallel to the floor
- Have your mouse near you, and if needed change sides when using it
- Use headphones to talk on the phone instead of craning your neck to hold the phone
- If you need to look at a paper, use a document holder
- Sit in a chair at a 100 to 110-degree angle to maintain the natural curve in your spine
- Have your feet touch the ground
- Lower armrests to let your shoulders relax
What Is an Ergonomic Keyboard Tray?
In addition to the above suggestions, you can also invest in ergonomic office equipment such as an ergonomic keyboard tray.
An ergonomic keyboard tray can help prevent musculoskeletal issues such as hand and wrist pain because you adjust it to your height and arm length.
With a keyboard tray, you can keep your wrists bent at a 90-degree angle. You can also keep your keyboard at the optimum negative angle so that your wrists point down. This keeps your wrist at a neutral angle.
What to look for in an ergonomic keyboard tray when shopping? Look for a keyboard tray that tilts and one that you can move from left to right.
You should also look for one that you can conveniently slide in and out. This keeps your keyboard out of view when not in use and gives your workspace a clean, decluttered appearance.
What Are the Benefits of an Ergonomic Keyboard Tray?
There are many benefits of an ergonomic keyboard tray.
Since you don't need to reach forward, you can work more efficiently. You also won't need to stop to rest from uncomfortable wrist strain.
You Can Use with a Standing Desk
You can pair your keyboard tray with an ergonomic standing desk. Your keyboard tray can adjust to standing height.
Of course, the main advantage of a keyboard tray is to prevent pain while typing. By positioning your keyboard tray at the right angle, you can relieve pressure points and reduce any stress on your body.
Other Ideas for an Ergonomic Work Environment
There are other things you can do to make your workplace ergonomically-friendly.
Standing Desk and Anti-Fatigue Mat
Sitting for long periods of time every day can shorten your lifespan. In fact, individuals who sit for too long every day can have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
If you have an office job, you can purchase an ergonomic standing desk to reduce these risks.
A standing desk will allow you to do your work while standing and moving around. It will also encourage you to be more active. By standing while working, you can reduce back and neck pain associated with sitting.
You can also increase your productivity by using a standing work desk. Instead of slumping forward and getting lost in your thoughts, you will have more energy while standing and can focus more on your tasks.
Exercise and Stretch
Another thing you can do to have a healthier workspace is to regularly exercise and stretch throughout the day.
There are many exercises you can do at the convenience of your desk. You can do hamstring curls to stretch and tone your hamstrings.
To do a hamstring curl, stand at your desk. Then, bring a foot up behind you and hold it. Hold the stretch for a few seconds then bring it down and do with the other leg.
If you feel weird about exercising in the office, you can even do something simple like a gluteal squeeze. When standing or sitting, squeeze your gluteal muscles for a few seconds then release.
Transform Your Workspace
If you want to make the transition to an ergonomic workspace, you can start by purchasing an ergonomic keyboard tray. Even if you don't want to replace all your office furniture, a keyboard tray is a small investment that can result in big benefits for your health and comfort.
If you want to learn more about ergonomic furniture and how they can benefit you, contact us.