Equipment and Workspace Guidelines (Keyboard Trays)
Keyboard trays in today's workstations are often over used. I recommend keyboard trays far less than I remove them because it seems that almost all workstations have them. Keyboard trays can become problematic for the user when they must multi-task (i.e. write, answer the phone) and must reach over the keyboard tray to access items located on the desk on a routine basis. Keyboard trays are very useful for those users that do not need to multi-task and may be the only solution to insure the keyboard is at an appropriate height. Features of a sound keyboard tray include:
- Stable and durable. Most keyboards will have some bounce. This bounce is intended to absorb or direct the force away from the upper extremities.
- It should be height adjustable with ease. If used on a fixed work surface, the mechanism should have a range to include a height above the work surface.
- Angle adjustable (at least 10° away from the user) with ease to promote dynamic work and optimal posture.
- Allows the user to work without shoulder abduction greater than 20°.
- Equipped with a full length, (non-cushy) palm rest, preferably removable and not more than 1" in height and 3" in depth.
- Able to position the tray in negative tilt (away from the user) at height ranges below desk height without the mechanism interfering with the position.
- Maintains memory of the set angled position of the tray.
- Equipped with backstop or non-slip surface.
- Supports keyboard and input device on the same level.
- Provides adequate space for input device (mouse, trackball) work.
- Allows user to use input device on the right or left.
- Free of knobs that require wrist deviation and force to manipulate.
- Streamlined, swivel mechanism that provides sufficient leg/knee clearance.