Which Which Keyboard Tray is Right for You? (And, is a Keyboard Tray Right For You?

Autostrada di tastiOur recent series helping you to choose the right keyboard, mouse and monitor set up has been a great success! [Choosing the Right Keyboard, Choosing the Right Mouse & Monitor Madness] And for good reason, we all want to be comfortable while we work! And that means choosing the right equipment for yourself and of course learning how to best set yourself up! A question that comes up for us over and over again is “I love my keyboard and mouse, but where the heck do I put it?”  And, “How do I know if I need a keyboard tray?”

More specifically, do you set up your keyboard and mouse on your desktop? Keyboard Tray? Lap? Sit? Stand? And if you do choose a keyboard tray, and have looked into your options, you will find that there are many! But before we help you understand the difference in the various styles, let’s first see if a keyboard tray is right for you.

The first thing you need to do is to establish the right height and distance between you and your keyboard. The basic rule(s) of thumb (no pun intended) is as follows:

  • Keyboard Height: Set your keyboard at a height that allows your elbows to be level with the top of the keyboard or slightly higher than the keyboard. Another way to think of it is to have your elbows be at approximately 90 degrees or slightly more open than 90 degrees with the keyboard being parallel to the floor.
  • Keyboard Distance: Once your keyboard height is set, make sure that your keyboard is placed so that your upper arms hang vertically. Think ear over shoulder, shoulder over elbow and elbow over hip. This will help to ensure that you are sitting with good balanced posture.

With this in mind, there are three ways to get yourself at the right height and establish the correct elbow levels in relation to your keyboard and mouse mouse :

  1. Raise or lower your chair
  2. Raise your lower your desk
  3. If your desk is at a fixed height, then consider a keyboard tray.

If you go with the keyboard tray option, we have put together a chart for you about the pro’s and cons of the different styles of keyboard trays out there to help you choose the right one for you.

Keyboard Tray Chart Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.22.20 PM

And Remember. . .

If you elect to use a keyboard tray, once it is installed, you will likely have to bring your monitor closer to you since you are sitting further away from the desk edge. And if you have work to do at your desktop, please take a moment to push your keyboard try in or swivel it to the side (depending on your keyboard tray) so that you can bring yourself close to the desk to do your work without leaning over the keyboard tray.

What type of set up do you prefer? What works for you and what doesn’t? Do you use a keyboard tray? Desk top? Tell us in the comments!

4577Until the next time, be happy, energized and productive!

Vivienne & Andrew, PBE Co-Founders & Co-Authors

Want more information on how we can help you thrive in (and out) of the office?  Visit us at www.pbergo.com



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