Keyboard Desk Trays & Drawers Buying Guide

Many of us who spend hours a day typing have experienced pain due to the poor ergonomics of the traditional desk. Bad typing posture has been known to cause chronic back, neck and shoulder pain as well as carpal tunnel syndrome and a number of other muscular-skeletal disorders. The best way to improve your desk ergonomics is by investing in a keyboard and mouse platform solution that best fits you and your furniture.

When the keyboard is placed on a desk or work surface, the user is forced to "reach out" toward the keyboard. This reaching position often encourages the user to pull the shoulders forward and slouch. Some people will move their entire body forward away from the back of the chair so that there is no lumbar support at all. Others will remain seated back in the chair, forcing themselves to reach out and up even further, straining the pectoral muscles. In addition to slouching, a keyboard that is too high forces the forearms and wrists to bend at an uncomfortable angle.

The right keyboard platform will address these issues by moving the keyboard and mouse closer to the user, so no reaching is necessary. The lower keyboard height also allows your arms and wrists to sit at a comfortable, neutral position.

Stationary Desk Keyboard

A traditional keyboard-on-desk setup is not ergonomically sound because it encourages slouching and forces elevated forearms/ bent wrists.

Platform Keyboard

A keyboard platform allows the user to move the keyboard closer to his/her body, encouraging good posture and a neutral wrist.

See For Yourself

See how dramatically your posture changes with the addition of a keyboard platform when working at your desk:

1. Sit at your desk with your hands at the keyboard in typing position. Note the angle of your forearms and wrists, as well as where your shoulders are positioned.

2. Now, move your hands down to hover over your lap where they would be if you had a properly installed keyboard platform. Make sure that your back is up against your chair and that your elbows are close to the back of the chair.

This may seem like a small movement but your posture has changed dramatically. Your lower back has lumbar support and your pectoral muscles aren't being strained from supporting your reaching arms. See how your forearms are no longer positioned at an odd angle, and your shoulders are back and you are sitting up straight!

Desktop Keyboard Platform Options

Articulating / Adjustable Keyboard Platforms

Keyboard platforms that are articulating or adjustable usually can be moved higher or lower and the angle of the tray can be adjusted. These adjustable platforms are ideal from an ergonomic perspective because they allow the user to move the keyboard and mouse to his or her ideal position, and not the other way around! Another benefit of the articulating platform is that it accommodates the needs of multiple people because the tray height is not fixed.

See Adjustable Keyboard Platforms

Retractable Keyboard Drawers

A retractable keyboard drawer allows the user to pull out the keyboard when in use and then push it under the desk when not in use. This allows for better space management and a cleaner look by storing the keyboard out of the way.

See Retractable Keyboard Platforms

Keyboard Platforms with Adjustable Mouse Tray

Another way to improve the ergonomics of your work space is with a keyboard platform that has an adjustable mouse tray. The swivel or tilting mouse tray allows you to adjust the plane of the mouse independent of the keyboard. Because the hand is in a different position when using a mouse, the position of the tray may need to be slightly different than the position of the keyboard. This is especially useful to people who use their mouse frequently: architects, artists / designers, or people who spend long periods of time browsing with a mouse.

See Keyboard Platforms with Mouse Tray

Featured Product:
Fellowes Professional Premier Series Adjustable Keyboard Tray

As part of the Professional Series, this Premier Keyboard Tray features the Comfort-Lift system that lets you slide mouse platform left or right over keyboard numeric pad and offers two custom-height positions. Mouse platform tilts forward or backward, adjusts up or down to height of keyboard, and mounts on left or right side of keyboard. Warning Trak helps prevent your mouse from sliding off mousing platform.

See Fellowes Professional Premier Series Adjustable Keyboard Tray

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