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Adjustable Height Desks & Keyboard Trays: Finding the Right Combination for You

by Will M on August 22, 2012

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Uplift 800 Sit-Stand Desk UndersideOne of the most frequent questions we get at The Human Solution concerns the compatibility of our adjustable height desks and our keyboard trays. Even with an adjustable height desk, it’s still essential to add a keyboard tray to be in the proper relaxed position when using it at a seated height. Because keyboard trays are generally mounted to the underside of your desk via a “track,” it’s important to know what desks allow for enough unobstructed space underneath the work surface for the track to be attached.

Uplift 400 Sit-Stand Desk with Humanscale Keyboard TrayFortunately, we put these desks and keyboard trays together all the time, so through trial and error we have become experts as to what works and what doesn’t. If you already have a desk and are only purchasing a keyboard tray, you need to have enough space underneath to mount the track. For our most popular keyboard trays – like Humanscale keyboard trays – this means that you need at least 11” of depth (the length from the front of your desk to the back) to attach a tray at all, and at least 22” for a standard platform like the Humanscale 900 Tray to be able to stow completely away under the desk when not in use.

For many of our adjustable height desks, like the Workrite Sierra HX or some of our UpLift 400 series desks, there is either a crossbar or support beam where the desk meets the base and therefore you should go with the 11” track to ensure that your keyboard tray can be mounted properly. While this means you won’t be able to store your keyboard completely out of the way, we find that most people hardly ever use this function, since the majority of their time spent at the desk is spent actually typing or mousing. While I have a desk which allows for me to push my tray completely under my desk, I hardly ever do it and would not miss this function if it were gone.

However, for some this function is a necessity, and luckily we have desks that will work together with a long, full-sized track as well. The UpLift 446 features a laminate top on a lightweight adjustable height base, and the crossbar runs across the legs as opposed to at the underside of the desktop. While this means you will be sacrificing leg space, it also means you are only limited by the depth of the top, which is at least 31.5” on the 446.

Humanscale 500 Keyboard Tray SystemBut for a completely crossbar-free design that neither obstructs leg space nor impedes a keyboard tray track, you can’t beat our UpLift 700 Sit-Stand Desks. These are our quietest and quickest height-adjustable bases, and they can be paired with one of our hand-made solid wood tops. Don’t be worried about the lack of any beam connecting the two legs affecting stability – we actually have found these to be the sturdiest legs out of all we carry.

Of course, we sell many other desks and keyboard trays that can be used together. An adjustable height desk and a keyboard tray are two of the most important parts of an ergonomic setup, so making sure you get both and that they work together is of prime importance to your health and comfort.

While this is just an overview of some of the combinations we’ve found to work the best, the easiest way to see if the combination of desk and keyboard tray you want will work is to call us at 800-531-3746, chat with an expert, or email info@thehumansolution.com and we will find the perfect combination for your needs.

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Written by Will M

Will M

Will Moore has been with The Human Solution since 2011, and currently resides in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife Angie and their dog Eli. When not writing about or selling ergonomic furniture, he’s usually catching a live music show or watching a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. He enjoys bacon, Pearl Jam, and sitting in a Steelcase Amia Chair when not using his desk’s standing capabilities (ah, the perks of working at THS). He is responsible for spearheading the very popular Music Friday at THS, in which a theme is picked and everyone plays a song in turn, culminating in the entire office ceremonially playing “Who Let the Dogs Out,” no matter what the theme, every Friday at 6 pm when we close.

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