Ergonomic Keyboard Trays

Written by Erwann Marshall
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Ergonomic keyboard trays are built to help maintain a comfortable and productive position for secretaries, assistants, typists, transcriptionists, writers and anyone else that types for an extended period of time. They can protect anyone who writes for more than two hours at a time from common musculoskeletal problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and upper back pain and stresses to the lower back area. The goal is to promote time spent within the Neutral Reach Zone, an area of space in front of the body where the arms and hands move without strain or overt extension.

Most ergonomic keyboard trays are attached to the underside of the desk. Some include space for a mouse on either side in case the typist is left-handed and can handle any number of keyboard shapes and sizes. To save extra space, some trays are designed to slide underneath the desk when not in use.

The most ergonomically correct tilt of the keyboard should be based on the sitting position of the typist. High quality ergonomic keyboard trays have mechanisms that allow the user to adjust the tilt either away or to the chair. Ideally, a person should sit at a reclining position on an ergonomic chair and place the tray in a positive tilt to keep the wrists in a straight line with the forearms.

Avoid Using Ergonomic Keyboard Trays as Rests

Unfortunately, many people find themselves resting their elbows on suspended keyboard trays in an attempt to lean forward to see the computer monitor. It is better to move the screen closer to the chair than it is to use the tray as any sort of support system. Too much weight may break the tilting mechanism or may break the tray off entirely.

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