We’re doing things a little bit differently this week, and sharing and AWEsome blog from one of our AWEmazing vendors! Our goal was to highlight an area of office furniture that often gets overlooked: the keyboard tray. We hope you enjoy reading Humanscale’s blog, “Feel Better: The Benefits of a Keyboard Tray,” originally published on their Tumblr page.

Ever feel like your desk is too high? You may be onto something. Standard-height desks in the United States are fixed at 29.5” off the ground because they were never built to fit a person. As office work began to emerge as the norm in the forties and fifties, work surfaces were placed on top of three-drawer filing cabinets and—voilà—a desk was created. To maintain an aesthetically uniform office, employers continued to implement such “desks.” While we no longer build desks this way, the 29.5” tall trend stuck. A desk at this height will properly accommodate a 6’4” person—less than 2% of our working population—and nobody shorter.

Unless you’re 6’4”, you likely need to adapt your body to your desk. You may shrug your shoulders, lean forward, put pressure on your forearms and extend your wrists to use the keyboard. Even the best ergonomic task chair on the market may not help you because you simply won’t be able to sit back in it. A chair won’t change your posture; the placement of your hands and eyes will.

So, how do we make the standard-height desk accommodate everyone? Try an adjustable keyboard tray to lower the tools into your lap and allow you to sit back in your chair. But not all keyboard trays are created equal. If you tried one in the past and didn’t like it, a few contributing factors may have been at play. Some desks are equipped with keyboard trays that slide in and out like a drawer, and do not adjust. Others feature bulky adjustment mechanisms underneath the tray that get in the way of your legs. Many so-called “ergonomic” keyboards aren’t ergonomic at all, in fact.

Truly ergonomic keyboard trays adjust to you and your task, not the other way around. They feature negative-tilt to keep your wrists in a neutral posture and a palm support. They are extremely intuitive and can be used without the interference of locks, levers or buttons. The mouse platform can be independently adjustable, so if you have to move the tray, the mouse doesn’t fall off. And they don’t hit your knees or otherwise obstruct the space underneath your desk. The goal is a hands-in-lap position to allow you to sit back and relax into the backrest of your chair, using as little muscle activity as possible.

If you’re looking for a simple ergonomic enhancement for your workspace, a keyboard tray is an easy and cost-effective solution. Try it for at least a week. Once your body gets used to it, you’ll start to see how sitting in supported, neutral postures can feel much better.

To see all the mAWEvelous keyboard trays that Humanscale offers, visit their website.

Contact us at 602-841-7480 or awe@www.awecorporateinteriors.net for all your keyboard tray needs!