The End of Keyboard Trays and Mouse Platforms?

By: Drs. ing. Paul C. Helder

I think we all enjoyed the innovations presented during this year’s Ergo Expo in Las Vegas.

Of course various new innovative products were presented next to already well known products which are from the outset near to the optimal solution. These can therefore hardly be improved, because they have been developed based on medical research, like for example the HandShoe Mouse by Hippus.

A very obvious difference with previous shows was, as far as I have noted, the absence of keyboard trays with mouse platforms. Apparently the industry has seen the light.
Instead we now see a multitude of height adjustable desks.
These desks not only provides sufficient space to work, but, far more important, they allow you to support the forearm and thereby relax the Trapezius – and Deep Neck muscles.

Already in 2006, Professor Han Ming Chen addressed this point in his paper: The effect on forearm and shoulder muscle activity in using different slanted computer mice, published in Clinical Biomechanics.

Height Adjustable Desks: Free Movement

adjustable deskThe space provided by height adjustable desks allows free movement. One can sit far more comfortable and move keyboard and mouse around to ones heart’s content.
We are not robots, we should allow ourselves freedom of movement.
Also paperwork can now be readily available on the desk. And there is also plenty of room for your HandShoe Mouse!

The adjustable desk takes away the restriction of the cramped space dictated by the concept of the keyboard tray. Long and behold, we now even see micro desks to further increase the available desk space.

I hope that based on anatomical and bio-mechanical research the ergonomics industry will realize that concepts from the past do not always comply with the best solution. The keyboard tray was a perceived good alternative. However, everybody realized that restrictions prevailed. The adjustable desk and chair now provide a fitting solution based on fundamental scientific research.