Adding a keyboard tray system to your desk is a great solution to reduce strain caused by over-reaching to your desk to type. By bringing the keyboard to your lap, you are able to more comfortably type, releasing pressure on the neck, shoulder and arms. A good keyboard tray will also allow you to negatively tilt the platform so that your hands are in the correct typing position, a great ergonomic feature many built-in trays do not have. Most keyboard trays attach using tracks that are drilled underneath your desk. Tracks are usually 5" wide, and range from 11'' - 27'' long, and can fit a wide range of different sized depths of desktops. However, some desk don't have as much real estate, because of a crossbeam running across the underside of the desk, so what do you do if you have less than 11"?
I ran into this issue myself recently. I upgraded my UPLIFT desk from a 48'' x 30'' top to an 80'' x 24'', not realizing that the shorter depth would cut my available mounting space down to 9"! I collapsed in defeat, pouted, then got some ice cream to make myself better. As I was finishing my 5th cone, an idea sparked; when I got home, I decided to mount my track sideways instead of the regular configuration, and Voila! The problem was solved! If you are desperately needing to mount a keyboard tray but don't have the 11'', I would definitely recommend this method, however there are a couple drawbacks.
For one, you cannot slide the tray back at all so you should expect the tray to stick out at least 13'' at all time. This doesn't bother me however, since I can easily swivel the tray out of my way if needed, which is rare because I'm always typing if I am at my desk. Having the keyboard tray out that far also will also push you a little farther away from your screen, which should be at an arms length. Again, this did not phase me, because I could use my monitor arms to bring them a little closer to me, fixing the issue. Besides being able to use the keyboard tray, another benefit of the sideways track is being able to slide the arm from side to side, like a built in lateral slider!
If you are looking for a great keyboard tray system, I would check out the UPLIFT Large Keyboard Tray. It comes standard with both 11'' and 21'' tracks, so if you end up getting a desk with more mounting space in the future then you will be covered.
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