With a sharp increase in computer usage over the past decade, a vast majority of the United States population generally uses some form of a keyboard to type on their computer at some point everyday. This is especially true for the workers that are considered to be full time employees whose average work day consists of 8.4 hours, according to the American Time Use Survey Summary. With the increase in working such long hours typing and sitting in front of a computer screen, ergonomic keyboard trays are becoming more popular and more common as the number of daily computer users rises. A keyboard tray is a piece of ergonomic computer furniture that is designed to hold your keyboard and mouse and is generally used to move the location of such input devices, either moving to a fixed position or being adjustable to the users specific needs. Ergonomic keyboard trays are made to comfort your wrists while you are typing in order to take the strain off the muscles in your wrist, which are used the most when you work continuously at a keyboard.
The benefits that result from buying and installing a keyboard tray are numerous. An adjustable keyboard tray is one of the many ergonomic devices you can utilize that can help prevent common injuries and conditions resulting from daily computer use. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is the most common and most often diagnosed computer-related injury people develop. Perhaps the most well known repetitive stress injury is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which effects your hands, wrists and forearms. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome leads to paresthesias, numbness, and muscle weakness in the hand. Frequently repeated tasks, such as typing on a keyboard or using a mouse, are the main cause for these types of ailments, and installing a high quality tray is a surefire way to reduce tension in your shoulders and arms.
Keyboard trays are designed to install under a computer desk, with the ability to pull out the keyboard from under the desk when it is needed and put the keyboard away when not at the computer. With a keyboard tray installed under the desk rather than on the desk itself, this allows for more free space and a cleaner desk area. Proper adjustments are needed in order to ensure healthy posture and positioning of your wrists. Make sure the keyboard tray is not too high, or you will strain your shoulders by having to raise them in order to lift the arms up. If it is too low then it will result in bent wrists when you are typing. Distance should be adjusted that the forearms and floor remain parallel to each other and elbows rest close to the body.
Most importantly, keyboard trays are created to give the end user the most comfortable typing experience possible while providing healthy typing at the same time. When working strenuous hours on end everyday, it should not have to be any harder by using improper or uncomfortable devices which can be ultimately eliminated with a keyboard tray. They also come in stylish looks and designs perfectly suited to any working environment whether you are using one at home or in your work office. If spending multiple hours in front of a computer is part of your everyday routine, a keyboard tray will be a worthwhile investment for your home or office; especially in the long run.
When purchasing any kind of computer, most people would generally only be concerned about having a monitor and some sort of stand for their monitor. As long as you have the computer, monitor, and stand you should be good to go, right? What people sometimes do not even think to consider is that a monitor arm can be extremely beneficial to add to your new or existing computer setup. Many might speculate how much added advantage there is in purchasing a computer monitor arm which is why we can take a look at some of the benefits to help you decide if it is worth the investment.
Perhaps the most vital reason to have a computer monitor arm is the importance of working in an ergonomic environment. By working in an ergonomic environment every piece of equipment used, whether it be your office chair or in this case the monitor which you use, is tailored to be adjustable to fit the unique individual’s body. Monitor arms are specifically designed to easily adjust the height of your computer screen and can be brought closer or farther away from your face to find the optimum reading position. A good rule of thumb to correctly position your monitor is to make sure that the top of the viewable area of your display should be approximately at eye level, or in a position that is comfortable for you and does not cause you to strain your eyes in order to read what is on the screen. Ergonomic experts say that an arms length away is a good indication to a correct viewing distance, but this may vary from user to user. This type of movement and flexibility is impossible to achieve without the use of a monitor arm.
Another added benefit of monitor arms, is that they can be used by virtually anyone with any kind of computer. First and foremost, those with a desktop computer will always need to have purchased a monitor to begin with. But even lap
top users, like myself, can benefit from a monitor arm as well. A few months ago I found myself straining my eyes to read the tiny print on my 13” laptop monitor and knew I needed to find a solution before I compromised my vision. With the purchase of a large monitor and a monitor arm, I could easily attach the monitor through a port in my computer to make viewing text much less strenuous on my eyes. Increasingly workstations are shared between more than one user, especially for jobs that stay open all day with multiple shifts. If you share your station at work with another colleague, with a few simple movements the monitor can be easily adjusted to the height and depth suitable for that individual
Monitor arms are especially advantageous when trying to make room or save space on a desk. Most stands provided by manufacturers consume a lot of room on a desk, whereas an ergonomically designed monitor arm will typically clamp to the back of a desk or be attached directly to a slat-wall leaving the desk space completely clear. An office space or work place will look much less cluttered, more stylish, and more organized with the addition of a computer monitor arm. Some even come in stylish designer colors, such as white and silver, to further enhance the modern design.
In the long run, the monitor arm will not only add style and design to any work space, but it may also reduce work related injuries such as repetitive strain injury and chronic back pain if used ergonomically correct. Monitor arms are also built to withstand the test of time; generally if monitor arms are used 5 days a week for 8 hours a day you can expect it to last at the very least 5 years. While the move to a monitor arm may seem like a risk, the benefits vastly outweigh any disadvantages.