Pain Free Working

A Complete Guide to Desk Accessories

Other than sit-stand desks, desk converters, standing mats and desk bikes, there are plenty of ways you can improve the ergonomics of your workstation. Below you’ll find a myriad of products, along with benefits and other information, to help you find the best desk accessories for you.

Desk Accessories for Wrist Support

In need of items that offer support for your wrists while working at a desk? Here are a few items that maximize wrist comfort as you type away on your computer.

Ergonomic Keyboard

Often bigger than most keyboards you’re used to working with, an ergonomic keyboard is designed to alleviate stress in your wrists and hands. It also conforms to the human form to minimize muscle strain and thereby increase efficiency.

Most ergonomic keyboards form a V-shape, dividing the keys into two sides, rather than having the keys aligned in a straight line. This is because our hands naturally turn in on a slight angle when we rest our forearms on a desk.

Some keyboards include wrist rests and touch pads to eliminate the need for a mouse.

Benefits of Ergonomic Keyboards:

  • You maintain a natural hand and arm position while working
  • They reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and muscle strain
  • You no longer have to bend your wrists outward when typing—the keyboard adjusts to you

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Ergonomic keyboards are pricey
  • It may be hard to adjust to the new layout, as you will have to change the way you type, especially with split keyboards
  • They may affect the speed of typing due to placement of certain keys

Types of Ergonomic Keyboards

Split Keyboard: The most common among all ergonomic keyboards. As the name implies, it’s a keyboard divided in half to form a V, with each set of keys angled appropriately for each hand.

Angle Split Keyboard: Also referred to as the Klockenberg keyboard, this is a split keyboard that angles upwards in the middle so the index fingers are higher than the others. Some keyboards allow for angle adjustment.

Contoured Keyboard: This keyboard separates keys into two depressions at shoulder width. This keeps arms perpendicular, though it offers little to no wrist support.

Handheld Keyboard: Also known as a portable keyboard, this keyboard almost looks like a gaming console. Similar to how you would type on your phone, a portable keyboard lets you type with your thumbs from any position, rather than having to reach over to your laptop or computer. Some even have a trackball so you don’t have to reach over to use your mouse.

Vertical Keyboard: Least common among the rest, this keyboard vertically mounts keys so your thumbs are pointing up. This prevents wrist rotation.

Keyboard Tray

Sometimes called a keyboard drawer, a keyboard tray is an under desk attachment that offers ergonomic support for your arms, hands and overall posture. One of the less popular ergonomic desk accessories, a keyboard tray works best with desks that are too high even with a chair that’s properly adjusted.

Benefits of Keyboard Trays:

  • Your hands and wrists maintain a neutral position, as it offers wrist support
  • They protect you against carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain
  • You maintain the L shape in your arms to prevent muscle strain, and your forearms are no longer elevated at the wrong angle or resting on the edge of the desk
  • Shoulders are relaxed
  • They are adjustable so you can change your position, moving further away from your monitor, up and down, etc.
  • They free up desk space for other items or tasks

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • It takes a bit of space under your desk, so adjust your chair accordingly
  • There may be limited space for your keyboard and mouse
  • You need to make sure you’re using it correctly—adjust the angle of the tray so it’s slightly higher towards you, keeping your wrists slightly elevated or in neutral position

Wrist Pad & Rest

Referred to as either a wrist pad or wrist rest, this ergonomic desktop accessory offers support while typing. There are separate pads for the keyboard and mouse. Most of the time, the wrist pad for the mouse will be attached to a mouse pad.

Benefits of Wrist Pads & Rests:

  • You keep your wrists elevated to avoid muscle strain
  • They prevent development of carpal tunnel syndrome and other painful conditions

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • The heel or palm of your hand should rest on the wrist rests, not your wrists
  • Any kind of keyboard wrist support needs to be suited to the dimensions of your keyboard
  • Other components of your workstation may need to be adjusted to maintain a neutral wrist position

Desk Accessories for Neck Posture

Feeling the pain in your neck as you crunch over your desk while working at your desk? Have a look through these items that will reduce both eye and neck strain.

Monitor Stand

Not to be confused with a monitor mount, monitor arm or desk riser, a monitor stand is a desktop accessory used to raise your monitor. It’s almost like shelf or table specifically for a computer monitor.

Benefits of Monitor Stands:

  • They bring monitors up to eye level to prevent neck and eye strain
  • Elevated monitors also promote better posture overall
  • They offer extra storage space underneath for your keyboard or other items

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • A monitor stand may only work at a static workstation—it may be too heavy for a standing desk, or cause it to wobble as you’re adjusting the height
  • It lacks the versatility of a desk riser or converter

Laptop Stand

A laptop stand is an accessory that elevates your notebook or laptop. It’s not to be confused as a desk riser, as it’s solely meant to hold a laptop.

This accessory angles the keyboard downward towards the user for ease of use, so you don’t have raise your forearms and bend your wrists to type. Some laptop stands are adjustable by height and/or angle; others are static.

Benefits of Laptop Stands:

  • They adjust your posture for low tables or desks
  • Laptop stands can be adjusted to seated and standing positions
  • They prevent eye and neck strain when switching between your laptop and elevated computer monitor
  • They prevent your laptop from overheating, maintaining the laptop’s performance
  • Laptop stands free up more desk space
  • They’re affordable
  • They’re lightweight, so you can easily move the product from various workstations

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • They don’t offer much wrist or hand support
  • For adjustable laptop stands, setup may require manual
  • Weight of your laptop may not be suitable for the laptop stand

Tablet Stand

Use interchangeably with tablet mount and tablet holder, a tablet stand holds your tablet in place so you can work on it without having to hold it up yourself. There are various types of tablet stands out there, but for the sake of this post, we will only refer to products that can be mounted or attached to a desk.

Benefits of Tablet Stands:

  • They keep you hands free
  • Eye and neck strain are reduced
  • They are lightweight, so you can easily transfer them to different locations

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Tablet stands vary in price range
  • Not all holders are suitable for every tablet
  • Your desk you have will determine which type of tablet holder you can have

Types of Tablet Stands

Adjustable Tablet Stand: The most versatile (and most expensive) type among the rest, an adjustable tablet stand can be modified by height and angle. Some products come with a wall piece that allow you to hook the stand on a vertical surface.

Clamp Mount Tablet Stand: This tablet stand is held up with a flexible tablet arm, which is attached to a table clamp. The stand can be attached to any surface within the clamping range.

Floor Tablet Stand: This holder has the most flexibility in terms of range of motion.

Foldable Tablet Stand: This is the most budget-friendly among all types. A foldable tablet stand is simple to set up with your tablet.

Document Holder

Unlike a tablet stand, a document holder is typically non-adjustable. While you can place your laptop on this stand, it’s more suited for documents, books, etc.

Others may refer to document holders as book holders, book stands, or reading rests.

Benefits of Document Holders:

  • They reduce eye, neck and back strain when alternating focus between documents and your computer
  • They are lightweight, thus you can move them easily between workstations

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Some holders can’t hold anything heavier than a document
  • Some stands may not be sturdy enough as a writing surface

Desk Accessories for Productivity

It’s difficult getting any work done when your office has an open space layout. If you need accessories that will retain your focus on the task at hand, have a look through this section.

Acoustic Desk Screen

Also known as an acoustic desk panel or desk divider, an acoustic desk screen is a panel that mounts on end of the desk as a separator. Acoustic desk screens create privacy and reduce noise within the workstation.

Benefits:

  • They block and absorb sound from open spaces
  • They offer privacy in an open office plan
  • A quieter workstation improves worker productivity

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Some acoustic desk panels can work with sit-stand desks
  • Consider the height of the desk divider if you’re planning on purchasing a desk riser as well