How To Install A Keyboard Tray On A Treadmill Desk
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Why an Ergonomic Keyboard Tray is Crucial For Treadmill Desk Users
This is a companion piece to our primer on How To Install A Keyboard Tray On A Standing Desk. While many more keyboard tray options exist for standing desk users, most of them will not have the tilt adjustment range for a healthy ergonomic posture nor be able to withstand the physical rigors of typing while walking.
Whereas most conventional adjustable keyboard trays (AKTs) have quite a bit of floppiness to them, for treadmill desking you really want to select a super-stable tray that isn’t going to bounce around a whole bunch and riddle your content with typos. Or worse, result in ergonomic injury from pressing down hard on your palms to keep your fingers from moving around as your body sways with your walking motion.
This is precisely what “SteadyType” was invented for. While also popular and highly beneficial for standing desk users, it was originally invented by iMovR for treadmill desk users, and the benefits for people who type while they walk are even more profound. Achieving an even steeper negative tilt angle than when typing while standing is essential to the proper ergonomic setup for treadmill desk users, and avoiding potentially harmful repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).
So while the other primer deals with ways to work around the obstacle to installing an AKT on a standing desk that has a stability crossbar blocking the path of the glide track, in this primer we focus only on the SteadyType options. Of which there are basically two: add-on and built-in.
Option 1: Select an Adjustable Keyboard Tray Designed Specifically for Treadmill Desks
There are barely any keyboard trays on the market that were actually designed specifically for use with a standing desk, and we’ve reviewed all of them. This includes the SteadyType Exo Keyboard Tray for Standing Desks and Elevon Ergonomic Keyboard Tray, as well as the iMovR Trackless Keyboard Tray, iMovR Stowaway Keyboard Tray and the Humanscale Float Keyboard Tray. Be sure to check our round-up of adjustable keyboard trays for standing desks reviews from time to time for any new additions to this short list of AKTs designed specifically for use with standing desks.
However, only two of these are “SteadyType” keyboard trays that you can attach to any existing sit-stand desk. The others are simply too floppy to be seriously considered for use while walking. Click through to the reviews of the Exo and Elevon to learn more about what each model brings to the table. They are both based on the same iMovR patent, the same one that has allowed them to be the exclusive manufacturer of SteadyType keyboard trays that are built right into the desktop (see Option 2, below).
The SteadyType Exo was specifically designed for mainstream users. It has the right sizing and price point to work for the vast majority of users, and it directly targets the millions of existing sit-stand workstations that do not have a keyboard tray today.
The Elevon, on the other hand, is a favorite of ergonomists dealing with the most difficult client situations. It is clearly the most ergonomically-adjustable keyboard tray ever created, but it is also quite large (more of a “desk extension” than a keyboard tray) and consequently more expensive. Currently, iMovR is redesigning the Elevon to make its “wing” panels removable/optional and the original model has sold out in the interim. So for all intents and purposes, for an add-on keyboard tray for office treadmill users the SteadyType Exo is hands-down the way to go.
A testament to American R&D and manufacturing quality, the SteadyType Exo is incredibly stable—the most stable ergonomic keyboard tray we’ve tested by an order of magnitude. Installation is astonishingly quick and easy. We’re talking 30 seconds versus the usual hour+ ordeal of installing a keyboard tray. Not limited to the usual +10°/-15° of tilt, this tray can literally rotate 360° (but practically speaking can hold the keyboard and mouse in place up to a near-vertical -85° of tilt). The luxuriously 3D-laminated keyboard platform can accommodate any keyboard and any keyboard/pointing device setup imaginable. Clever “bumpers and pins” allow you to position the keyboard and pointing device as close to your body as possible, to prevent forward shoulder rolling and keep your posture upright.
Far and away, the most ergonomically sound keyboard tray we’ve tested to date. Rigid stability combined with extraordinary angle adjustability make this device the top choice for keeping your wrists and arms healthy while you stand (or walk) and work.
Option 2: Purchase a SteadyType-equipped Standing Desk
Like the iMovR SteadyType Exo and Elevon ergonomic keyboard trays mentioned above, you can also get the SteadyType tray built right into the desktop, which for most people will be by far the better way to go if they haven’t already purchased the standing desk they’ll be using in their walking workstation. Because the SteadyType patent belongs to iMovR, at the moment this is an exclusive feature found only on certain iMovR desk lines (see the various models below). We are told that other standing desk manufacturers are looking at potentially licensing the patent but we’re not expecting to see any hit the market in the near future.
SteadyType offers a few unique advantages over conventional keyboard tray designs. Where conventional trays usually top out at only -15° to -20° of tilt, which was fine for sitting but really insufficient for standing desks and walking desks, the SteadyType tray can technically tilt down to 85° without losing your keyboard and pointing device. In all practicality, of course, most people will use it at a 30° to 45° angle to achieve maximum ergonomic neutrality, comfort and typing proficiency.
The “bumpers and pins” design of the SteadyType tray also means that is can accommodate literally every popular keyboard and pointing device on the market (even vertical mice, trackballs, trackpads and joysticks), always keeping them secure from sliding off the tray, and pushed closer to the user to help them keep their shoulders back and avoid developing a “computer hunch.”
Lastly, unlike all the other keyboard trays on the market, which tend to have a degree of typo-aggravating floppiness to them, the SteadyType units are stable as a rock.
If you already own a standing desk and aren’t in the market to replace it just to get the SteadyType, you can alternatively purchase just the desktop from iMovR and retrofit it to your existing base.
The Lander is the rare revolutionary—not simply evolutionary—standing desk. It’s entirely made in the USA, assembles in minutes without tools, and boasts a sleek height controller that syncs to your smartphone, among other distinctive technological advancements. It arrives almost entirely factory pre-assembled (installs in just minutes, with no tools), and features an industry-leading 10-year warranty. Available in 3D-laminate finishes in 22 colors as well as in 36 different species-stain combinations of hand-crafted solid wood.
Literally the most advanced standing desk on the market. 98% factory pre-assembled and tested, the impressively-engineered Lander L-desk can be installed by one person in just 8 minutes, instead of the usual 2-man, 90-minute affair required to assemble all other sit-stand L-desks. All the high-tech features you can expect to find in a premium standing desk, including Bluetooth sync to smartphone app. Literally thousands of customization options in 3D-laminate and solid wood desktop colors and sizes. Outstanding quality and industry-leading warranty.
The iMovR Freedom™ standing desk line is what the market has been waiting for – a quality American-made option that is priced competitively with popular standing desks built on commodity imported bases. The Cascade is identical in every other way to iMovR’s more conventionally-topped sister product, the Energize, but builds in their patented SteadyType™ keyboard tray for the most ergonomically advanced standing desk experience on the market. Toss in the litany of customizable options iMovR is known for (over 5,400 variants on the Freedom desk line alone can be ordered online), and here is a desk you can cater to your needs and count on for years of reliable, stable, and quiet operation.
Adjustable-height corner desks are notoriously difficult to find in the exact size you need, but these new corner desks from iMovR come in no less than 1,152 size and color combinations, both with or without a built-in SteadyType keyboard tray. They address a great need in the marketplace, with more stability and desktop capacity than can be achieved with single-leg bases, and far less cost and installation complexity than 3-legged L desks.