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How to Save Space with a Keyboard Tray

Friday, June 05, 2009
By Anne Kramer

The primary benefit of a keyboard tray is that it encourages neutral posture during typing. Because it can be customized for the user, a keyboard tray allows the arms, wrists, and hands to maintain the proper position, thereby reducing repetitive stress injuries.
A secondary advantage of keyboard trays is their space economy: these devices free up work space for other tasks. There are many ways to make the office more space efficient with a keyboard tray.

1. Use a Corner Maker: A Corner Maker fits into a 90-degree corner, transforming it into a usable surface where a keyboard tray can be installed. Stowing the computer and its accessories in a corner represents a great method for saving space in the cubicle or home office. These keyboard trays fit into that otherwise awkward or wasted area, freeing up valuable workspace for other tasks like writing or collating papers. A Corner Maker is an ideal retrofit solution for these locations:
  • 90 degree or tight radius corners
2. Invest in a keyboard drawer: These drawers can be placed under the monitor. The keyboard and mouse then slide out on a tray, which can be whisked out of sight quickly and easily. It is important that the keyboard drawer is wide enough to accommodate both the keyboard and mouse; usually a width of 27” is adequate. The keyboard drawer is a great solution for the following situations:
  • Any time a monitor height should be higher, since a keyboard drawer can double as a monitor riser;
  • Workstations where there is only one primary user, and multiple positioning is not a concern; or
  • Any station where the workstation is too low. In this situation, a keyboard drawer’s position on top of the desk adequately raises the height of the keyboard and mouse, to support proper posture.
  • A narrow depth worksurface (less than 22” deep) and low worksurface where a keyboard tray is not well suited.
3. Attach a keyboard tray or arm: Keyboard trays attach to the underside of a work surface, and slide out as needed. Like a keyboard drawer, a keyboard tray or arm frees up the space in front of the monitor for other tasks. A keyboard tray or arm works best for these situations:
  • Workstations with multiple users, where it is important to adjust the keyboard tray to different heights;
  • Work surfaces that may function for both sitting and standing, and therefore require different tray heights for a single user; or
  • Surfaces that are too high for proper posture. Since the tray fits under the work surface, it lowers the keyboard and mouse height.
Adding a Corner Maker, a keyboard drawer, or a keyboard tray not only makes any desk more ergonomically sound, but it also increases valuable work space. These devices permit easy storage of the keyboard and mouse or trackball, so that the work surface is free for other uses.

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