How to maintain the correct keyboard height and placement

In the last year and half, many of us have adapted to awkward working environments. Badly placed laptops and cramped positions have become more common, and it is easy to forget the importance of correct product placement.

Now that many of us are back in the office, it is important that we don’t return to bad habits and remember the importance of the correct product height. The keyboard is a vital aspect of your office setup, and can make the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable working.

Here, we discuss how to correctly place your ergonomic keyboard and how to ensure it is set up at the correct height.

Click on a link to jump to that section:

Read where you should place a keyboard for ergonomic, comfortable working.

Find out how to tell whether your keyboard is the correct height.

Find out how to adjust your keyboard height if your keyboard is placed too low or high.

Read our guide to working ergonomically at a keyboard.

We provide some recommended products for ergonomic working.

Where should you place a keyboard?

Your keyboard should be placed just below elbow level at a distance that allows your arms and elbows to remain close to your sides. The keyboard should sit flat on your desk or gently sloping away from you. It may be a good idea to invest in a keyboard tray that can be used to correctly position your mechanical keyboard.

How do you know whether your keyboard is set up at the correct height?

Your wrists and hands should be in a healthy position, and you should be able to keep your arms close to your sides. When working from an ergonomic keyboard, your wrists should be flat and not bent. Your wrists should also be level, and slightly lower than your elbows. Additionally, your forearms should not bend more than 20 degrees above horizontal when you are sitting. If you are standing and typing then the degree would be 45 below. Your upper arms should hang vertically when using your keyboard in the proper placement.

When it comes to posture, you shouldn’t feel as though you are either slouching over a keyboard or straining to reach a keyboard, as these issues can result in problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition involves irritation of the median nerve in your carpal tunnel which causes pain and discomfort. Ergonomically placed keyboards should prevent this, and you should feel no pain while typing.

You can also determine whether your keyboard is placed correctly through how your shoulders feel while you are typing. Are they relaxed, or hunched? If they are hunched or feel uncomfortable, this is a huge sign that your keyboard is placed incorrectly.

Other factors you should consider when using a keyboard include:

Is your keyboard too big or small?

The size of your keyboard should fit nicely into your office workspace whilst providing adequately sized keys for efficient typing. If the keyboard is too big, it may mean your environment is cramped, and this can encourage posture issues. If the keyboard is too small on the other hand, you may struggle to type correctly or you may experience wrist pain.

Are you working on a laptop? Read our guide to ensuring your laptop is set up at the correct height here.

Can you maintain good posture while typing?

A keyboard that is placed correctly and set up at the correct height will prevent the need for you to slouch or strain whilst typing. Leaning forward frequently could lead to long-term health issues, such as neck pain or back pain.

Adjusting your keyboard height

What can you do if your keyboard is too high?

  • Keyboard trays can be a great idea if you struggle to maintain the correct keyboard height.
  • Adjust your task chair height if you are working from an adjustable task chair.
  • Lower your desk if it is an adjustable desk so that your keyboard is positioned at the correct height.

Find out more about ensuring your desk is the correct height here.

What can you do if your keyboard is too low?

You can raise your keyboard tray if you are working from one to adjust the height of your keyboard. Another option is to either raise your desk and lower your task chair height if possible.

Additional tips for working correctly at a keyboard

Does your job require frequent typing at a keyboard? Common injuries can be prevented by following these simple tips:

  • Avoid typing too harshly
  • Take regular breaks
  • Keep forearms horizontal or tilted slightly downwards
  • Use both hands to type
  • Don’t slouch at your desk.

Recommended products for ensuring you are working ergonomically

Investing in monitor arms that can be lowered or raised depending on your needs is a great way to prevent neck and back pain. The Reach Plus Monitor Arm is designed to support a combined, total weight range of 6kg – 15kg in either single orv dual screen format.

Reach Plus Monitor Arm

  • Fingertip movement
  • Integral cable management
  • Quick release VESA (Supports VESA 75mm & 100mm)
  • Reach Plus supports combined monitor weights between 6kg – 15kg
  • Supplied with top mounting universal C clamp fixing
  • 180 Degree lockout option as standard
  • Folds flat into 80mm of space
  • Available in three colours; Silver, Black and White

Shop now

Sit-stand workstations

The active sit-stand workstation allows you to change from a sitting position to a standing position with the touch of a button. The NHS suggests that sitting for prolonged periods in a day can lead to chronic diseases such as obesity while reducing general energy levels and productivity. With this standing desk, you can instantly switch between positions to ensure a healthy balance of sitting and standing.

Active Electric Sit Stand Workstation

Sit Stand Workstation

  • Instantly converts any desk into a sit-stand workstation.
  • 700mm x 400mm solid working surface.
  • Quick and easy assembly.
  • Comes complete with a single and double supports.
  • Power assisted height adjustment.
  • Single option supports monitor weights up to 7kg and the double option supports monitor weights up to 14kg.
  • VESA Complaint 75mm & 100mm.
  • Travel range is 450mm ±5mm.
  • Travel time is approx. 11 seconds.

Shop now

Shop our full range of ergonomic office products here.

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Ensuring the correct ergonomic laptop height