Buying Guide: Keyboard Platforms

When evaluating a workspace for ergonomic correctness, remember to consider the keyboard.  Many people can work just fine with the keyboard on top of the desk, but frequently the desk isn't the right height and the user can't be positioned correctly.  Ergonomics are a critical component of an office - a space that isn't ergonomically correct can cause multiple health issues.

Of course, there is more than one way to fix that problem.  If the desk is too high, you can raise the chair height so that the user can rest their arms on top of the desk and have them be at a proper 90 degree angle.  That action may create the need for a footrest, which is an easy adjustment.  

Keyboard platforms are another option.  Most keyboard platforms mount underneath the desk like the one in the picture below, but some clamp on to the front edge of the desktop.

Keyboard platforms help to reduce repetitive stress injuries, maintain proper posture and ensure comfort while working.  The objectives in using one are 1) to keep the head, neck and shoulders positioned forward and upright (not bent or turned), 2)  to keep shoulders and arms roughly perpendicular to the floor and elbows close to sides and 3)  to keep hands and wrists in a straight line with the forearms.  The first step in choosing your keyboard tray is to determine how you work.  There are 4 types of platforms, each catering to a specific type of worker.

4 Types of Keyboard Platforms

Sit/Stand Keyboard Tray - these trays have longer arms that allow the platform to adjust above the desktop so you can work sitting or standing. 

Articulating and Adjustable Keyboard Tray - these give you the maximum range of adjustments in height, tilt and swivel for optimal ergonomics.

Desktop Edge Keyboard Manager - these are good when you need maximum clearance between legs and keyboard.  They have a full range adjustment in height and tilt, but not swivel.

Sliding Keyboard Drawer - these are really for convenience and not for ergonomics.  They have very little possible adjustments - just a little bit in height and tilt.  These are for people who just want the keyboard off their desktop for the extra work space.

The next step is to match the keyboard platform with your workstation shape to ensure a proper fit.  As you browse on our website, in the Product Specs tab on the item page you will see "Workstation Type" and it will tell you what kind of workstations that particular tray is good for.

Lastly, decide which features will work best for you.  Do you want a built in wrist rest?  What size platform do you need/want?  Do you want an adjustable mouse platform?

Choosing the right keyboard platform makes good ergonomic sense.  And, as I've already mentioned, they also free up space on your desktop.  If you'd like help choosing one, give us a call at 877-795-2600 and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you.