By Sue Shekut, Licensed Massage Therapist, ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage
Most office furniture is made for people of average height, say people from 5’ 5” to 6’ 2 “. For those of us that don’t fall within this height range (like me at 5’2” or a friend that is 6’-6”), finding a comfortable way to sit and work on your computer is a challenge. Luckily, there are a host of add on products we can use to modify our workstations to make them more comfortable and ergonomic.
Recently a client has been having pain in her neck and upper back due to sitting at a desk without a properly fit keyboard tray. She can’t raise her chair high enough to let her hands rest comfortably over the keyboard because the desk design won’t allow it. And the desk has a support bar along the bottom of the desktop that prevents her from installing a conventional, slide out keyboard tray.
We looked into various trays and offer those of you with similar limitations a few options to easily add a keyboard tray to your workstation.
Waterloo Premium Arm, Keyboard Tray & Mouse Tray
The advantage of this tray is that you don’t need to install rails and casters along the bottom of the tray. You can simply install one arm which sits in the center of the tray. In the case of the desk with the bar along the front underside of the desk, it looks like this arm can fit just under the bar and then the opening between the stabilizer arm and the actual trial itself may give a=enough room to accommodate the desk support bar. This keyboard tray has 7 positive reviews on Amazon and reviewers found to easy to install. Retails for $126.30 on Amazon. View more at the link here.
Kensington SnapLock Keyboard Tray with SmartFit
In this case, the tray is mounted on a metal pole that allows you to adjust the tray 6 inches in height, +/- 15 degrees in tilt and rotates 360 degrees. I did not find any customer reviews but the design gives those of you with desks without space for brackets and rails another potion for a keyboard tray. This tray extender retails for $117.83 at Amazon but is available via other online shopping services as well (for likely more). Link to this tray here.
3M Desktop Adjustable Keyboard Drawer
A top of the desk option, the desktop design is height and tilt adjustable up to 3 1/4″ below desk level and wide platform keeps mouse and keyboard at same level for added comfort. Includes gel-filled wrist rest and full size mousing area. No installation required. Lifetime warranty included.
Pros: holds heavy monitors and installs without having to attach anything to the actual desk. 4 adjustment levels for the keyboard tray. The tray can also be inclined at any angle that is comfortable and locked into position or not.
Cons: if your monitor is too light or if you do not place the monitor in the center of the stand the keyboard will wobble when you type. If you place the monitor too far forward the whole assembly, plus monitor could fall into your lap. (Sounds like proper placement is essential in this case!)
Retails for $132 at Amazon (or you can pay a hefty $209.99 for the same product at ergoguys.com)
Fellowes Designer Suites Desk Ready Keyboard Drawer
According to Fellowes:
• Attaches to virtually any work surface without tools or complex instructions.
• The patented clamp easily attaches unit to desktop (5/8 1-5/8 W) without surface damage and adjusts tray to one of three height positions below desktop for personal comfort: 2-1/2, 3-1/8,and 3-3/4
• Tray adjustment tilts to 3, 6, or 9 degrees to suit personal preference, and separate tray and mouse platforms allow you to switch mouse position to right or left side of keyboard tray
• Sturdy, impact-resistant tray fits standard and ergonomic keyboards, and the ball-bearing glide tracks ensure smooth drawer movement
• Includes soothing memory foam wrist rest for keyboard tray and provides convenient cable management for keyboard and mouse cord
From users of the tray: The suspension mechanism causes it to need almost 34 inches side to side table top space to attach. The exterior width of the drawer itself is 28 inches. The mouse tray is a little small.
This tray retails for $76.52 at Amazon.