Current Desk Height is fixed at 28.5"
With respect to the ergo pictures I’ve seen.. like this one
I think I need to move my keyboard down off my desk with an adjustable keyboard tray like this
Or maybe I need to be boosted up higher than my current chair will boost me to get my eyes at the right height.
But I feel like If I boost up that high.. my knees would be almost touching the bottom of the desk, and I’d need a foot rest larger than any I’ve seen or my feet would be dangling.
furthermore.. If I boost up, seems there would be no room for that keyboard tray to bring that to the right height
Couple pics of my desk
Any suggestions for a short fellow like myself?
I was all ready to replace my tattered dirty Hag Capisco with an Aeron Chair, but I know that by itself is not the answer to this ergo pickle.
Ethan: You’re right that an office workstation can be a multi-faceted problem. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of keyboard trays due to their relative instability.
Assuming that you don’t have the funds available to replace the desk with a height adjustable desk surface, there are two choices of option: either cut the desk down so the work surface height is equal to your relaxed shoulder (no shrugging) seated elbow height (measure with your chair adjusted to your comfort with your feet flat on the floor), or create a means of raising you up so your relaxed shoulder seated elbow height equals the desk height… which creates the need for the footrest that you were concerned about in your original post, and brings the question of how you would tactfully get yourself up into the chair.
You unfortunately have a very common challenge of having a fixed height desk that has file drawers underneath that would limit how much the desk could be cut down without eliminating or moving the file drawers.
In regard to the chair, I highly recommend working with a vendor that will allow you to trial a chair for at least two days, if not a week prior to purchase. You may find that the Aeron is not as comfortable as initially presumed. Other manufacturers with highly adjustable chairs to look for would be either ErgoGenesis or Neutral Posture.
Although an evaluation can be done from a distance, there is a great benefit of having someone there to do an evaluation and provide you with feedback. It looks like you’ve got a lot going on with the things on the work surface itself, and having someone there to see what you work with can get a sense of priority of what your needs are and take things one step at a time.
Based on the pictures and data you provided, I see no reason why a well-designed keyboard tray would not resolve the height issue you are confronting. It would allow you to lower the keyboard/mouse and consequently your chair height, thereby minimizing any need for a foot rest. Look at the WorkRite Banana Board as a keyboard tray possibility. Make sure you get a thin tray to optimize leg clearance.
I would suggest that the keyboard tray is the prefered alternative to a foot rest, in that the latter tends to subtly constrain seated posture (and seated computer work tends to already place constraints on posture).
Note that as you lower yourself, please make efforts to lower the monitors accordingly.
Joe Selan, Advanced Ergonomics Inc.
It appears that you have received some really great feedback thus far. You bring up a very good point…purchasing a new chair is not always the right answer. The position of our monitors, keyboards and height of our chair are equally important to the ergonomic equation. The following website is a great resource tool http://www.computingcomfort.org/
Personally I have found the best solution for my workday to be a sit-stand workstation. You may want to look into a height adjustable workstation where the monitors and keyboard move together in one fluid motion. http://www.ergobuyer.com/index.cfm/product/243_63/workfit-s-laptop–lcd-sit-stand-workstation.cfm
I think you should cetainly invest in a keyboard tray. My favorite is Humanscale 4G or 5G. From the picture it looks like you are too close to the screen which can cause eye fatigue causing body fatigue, which can lead to poor postures. Another risk is the fact that you must turn your neck to look at your laptop while typing. You should have your keyboard aligned in the middle of the two screens, so that you only have to use your eyes to glance back and forth. Another issue to think about is your filing cabinet, Sometimes, you might subconsciously twist your body into an awkward position to avoid bumping your knee on the side of the cabinet. This can be a source of back pain. My suggestion would be to either move the keyboard tray to the corner or if you have the space…install it on the left side of the desk.
P.S. Your mouse palm support looks a little bulky. Make sure that when you’re mousing that you are only contacting your palm pads and not the soft tissue under your wrist / forearm. My favorite new product to prevent this compression and flicking of the wrist is Fellowes Gliding Palm Support, a $20 fix!
Pat Lohman, RMS Safety & Ergonomics
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