To Keyboard Tray or Not to Tray: Adjustable Standing Desk Design
by Kenny Rhoads
An adjustable height standing desk helps you implement proper ergonomics at your workstation. Whether sitting or standing at an electric adjustable height standing desk, the location of your keyboard is one of the most essential details for proper ergonomics. But the question of how best to protect your wrists, forearms, and shoulders is best answered with a somewhat contentious piece of hardware: the keyboard tray.
Much maligned because they were ugly for the first decade or more of their existence, the keyboard tray gives you the flexibility to get your keyboard at the perfect height and frees up space on the desktop itself so you can also set up the monitor at a healthy height. They are great when you don’t have space for a deep desk and want to create the proper amount of space between your eyes and the monitor, and because they slide back in under the desk when you are not using the computer, creating a more tidy workspace and saving actual desk space.
But, of course, from a visual design standpoint, they are an eyesore. You don’t see keyboard trays on fashionable design blogs about converted standing desks, but rather wireless keyboards sitting casually to the side on coffee tables, as if people work at their desks without a thought for comfortably supporting their wrists and shoulders while typing. Sarcasm aside, there are other solutions for keyboard storage and use on an adjustable height standing desk.
The most obvious is leaving the keyboard on top of the standing desk and then using something else to elevate the monitor to the proper height. This might even be better in the case of sit-to-stand desks because it gives you extra flexibility to get the keyboard to the right height when seated or standing, simply by adjusting the height of the desk itself. If you have risers or other objects that let you precisely set the monitor’s height, this is an easy fix, although it is only sufficiently effective for a seated position if you have a similarly flexible office chair so you can work with the minimum height of the standing desk.
On the other hand, if an ergonomic keyboard tray does appeal, there are a few options. The most popular is to install a sliding keyboard tray to the underside of the desk. As long as you measure twice and are thoughtful about the installation so that the retracted tray is completely covered and won’t get bumped by people walking by, this is an effective approach to the keyboard problem. And our ergonomic keyboard tray features contemporary design aesthetics so it doesn’t look like the clunky trays of the 1990s.
Creating a fully ergonomic workstation with an adjustable height standing desk can require a bit of thought and work. When it comes to ergonomic keyboard trays and where you position your keyboard, the choice requires you to identify what design aesthetics and matter to you.