News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

We're community supported and proud of it!

  • Adjust the height of your keyboard and mouse!

    Home Forums Tech Accessibility Adjust the height of your keyboard and mouse!

    Viewing 5 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2388427
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody MVP

        I sit at a desk all day and use a keyboard and mouse. For a very long time I have simply set my keyboard and mouse on the table with my monitor. This worked for me until about two weeks ago, when I developed severe pain in my neck and right shoulder (I use my right hand for my mouse).

        After taking a week off from my job and getting a muscle relaxer and physical therapy, I decided that my mouse and keyboard were sitting too high, and this was a key reason why I was in pain. So I decided to lower my mouse and keyboard. But how?

        I found this:
        https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Multi-Adjustable-TV-Tray-Table-Black/55509151

        This is a small table that allows me to adjust the height and the tilt. I got one for my mouse and one for my keyboard. So far, it is working out great – it is much more comfortable now when I use the computer. Best of all, I can adjust the height and tilt of the table, if it isn’t just right. I can also adjust the height of my chair, in case I can’t get the tables just right.

        Between my adjustable chair and my adjustable tables, I am certain that I have found the answer to my pain problem.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        b
      • #2388468
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I had a similar problem until I switched to my other arm — and hand — and started to use the touch pad instead of the mouse. It is not the perfect solution, as the pad takes some doing to get the sensitivity down enough to be able to type without the keyboard vibrations causing the cursor to jump to a previous location, where your writing continues, probably from the middle of a word that was already there minding its own business. Also the keyboard with the sensitivity adjusted down needs a harder push with one’s finger to get it to react. But the pain in my other arm went away and the arm I use now is still fine after several years of working this way. And I have not changed anything else, so the relative height of the keyboard and the monitor are the same as always have been, and the way I like things to be.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2388512
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          It is not the perfect solution, as the pad takes some doing to get the sensitivity down enough to be able to type without the keyboard vibrations causing the cursor to jump to a previous location,

          Vibrations do not cause a touchpad to generate any input. It’s capacitance from hands brushing the touchpad surface. There are palm detection features that can sometimes be activated to prevent this without messing with the sensitivity of the pad itself.

          Also the keyboard with the sensitivity adjusted down needs a harder push with one’s finger to get it to react.

          You have a keyboard where you can adjust this? I’ve never heard of such a thing, unless you are talking about an on-screen keyboard on a touch device.

          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
          Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
          Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

          • #2388516
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Ascaris: “You have a keyboard where you can adjust this?

            No: I meant to write “a touch pad”. Sorry about that.

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

            MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
            Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
            Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

            • #2388588
              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              When I noticed this problem, I applied the scientific method of observation and experimentation and, well, OK, looked very carefully into this, and it is most likely vibrations, as my palm never touches the pad when I am typing, because I hold my hand high above it; my thumb or little finger might brush it very occasionally, not nearly as often as the cursor jumps. I prefer to rely on empirical evidence above what is stated and believed widely to be the case. I have solved this by making the touch pad less sensitive, as explained already.
              This would also work if one is fond of rubbing one’s palm on the pad, of course.

              There are other known reasons, besides rubbing one’s palms on the pad:

              https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/stop-erratic-cursor-behaviour-typing-mac/

              And let it be known: I do not use jewellery.

              Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

              MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
              Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
              Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

      • #2388473
        RetiredGeek
        AskWoody MVP

        Another solution, the one I use, is a keyboard tray w/mouse attachment.
        20210907_1924461
        Pardon the palm rest covers, I have oily hands, and the cardboard stops, used to keep me from pushing the keyboard to far forward. Regular red-neck fixes…LOL!
        I’ve had this particular tray for at least 15 years and it’s worked great.
        I don’t think this particular model is available any longer as I can’t find it via google. I purchased it at an office supply store, not one of the chains.

        HTH 😎

         

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2388476
        RetiredGeek
        AskWoody MVP

        MJP,

        Are these dimensions correct?
        Form the product page:
        Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H) 23.00 x 18.00 x 3.74 Inches?

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

      • #2388613
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        I can also adjust the height of my chair,

        Jim
        I was gonna ask about that.
        Instead: What does your chair look like?
        Mine has several adjustments (and a couple of pillows shoved in the back 🤐 ) and arm rests. I mostly us the mouse and slouch back so maybe not too typical and need to lean forward to keyboard. I find the arm rests very important.
        Glad that you found what is working for you.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        • #2388652
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody MVP

          My chair goes up and down, and that’s it. However, the angle of the back rest is perfect when I need to take a momentary break from work. It has a very soft pad at the top of the back rest – great stress relief. I don’t need a back rest when I am actually working, so it doesn’t matter that the angle of the back rest can’t be adjusted. The arm rests are perfectly positioned for my arms. My wife got it for me at Office Depot.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2388941
        bratkinson
        AskWoody Plus

        50+ years ago, while in the Human Engineering Lab of the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories of the USAF, I was involved with a number of classified projects that dealt with placement of screens, buttons, switches, knobs, and anything else that had to be seen and/or manipulated by both air and space crews.  Basically, what it came down to was that any screens should be at normal eye level and buttons/knobs/etc should have the most frequently used be both easily seen and easily reached.  We ran experiments with our mainframe computer to prove that rearranging instrument panels for certain crew members could improve their reaction time, even by a couple hundredths of a second or more.  That could make a life or death difference!

        This was in the days of punched cards with only a couple keypunches available for us to use.  Of note was all those IBM keypunches had the keyboard at the same height as secretaries had their typewriters…a couple inches lower than ‘regular’ desktop height, 26″ off the floor rather than 28″.  That places the keyboard such that the forearm is horizontal for the user regardless of whether an armrest is on the chair or not.  Of course, secretaries back then would raise or lower their chair to get their feet on the floor, or sometimes a ramp-like foot stool.  But in general, their forearms were always horizontal.  In my later experiences with keypunch departments at large corporations, the same was still true.  Their forearms were always horizontal.

        The next logical step when screens were developed were to have the center of the screen at eye level.  As ugly as the old IBM 3270s were, when placed on a desktop, the center of the screens WERE at eye level for this 6’0″ adult.  They had noisy keyboards, too.  Placing the screens for PCs atop the desktop unit also positioned them correctly.

        In my many years as a mainframe computer consultant, never once did any of the 30-40 corporations I worked at EVER have the terminal or PC keyboard at the proper height.  They were always on the desk along with the desktop unit.  I’d often go home after 10-12 hour days (I did that much of the time) with my shoulders hurting and a back ache.  At a bank I was at in the early 80’s, they bought all new ‘ergonomic’ chairs for the staff.  I hurt MORE every day than before!  So, needless to say, when I got my first ‘real’ home computer (A PC-XT after Vic 20 and Commodore 64 ‘toys’), my next stop was to an office furniture store to buy an L-shaped secretary desk/table with a lower table for the keyboard.  I bought well (Marvel brand).  Almost 40 years  and 10 moves later, I STILL have that same desk/table for my computers! (plural using a KVM).  Before I ‘discovered’ an ‘under desktop keyboard tray’ as RetiredGeek showed, I simply put the keyboard in the pencil drawer at the desks I was assigned to keep my forearms horizontal.  I eventually bought a keyboard tray and replaced the regular ‘pencil’ drawer with one of those at my clients, after asking permission.  I restored the original drawers with I left.

        I was always asked by my coworkers why I always had the keyboard in the drawer or on the tray.  My response was always the same…no back aches, no shoulder aches.  Even after 50+ years of banging on keyboards for work and pleasure, I STILL have never had carpal tunnel syndrome!  But I did get ‘carpal finger syndrome’ on my right index finger about 6+ years after Microsoft (Xerox PARC, actually, not Apple!) introduced a ‘mouse’ to the world.  So I always switch buttons in Windows to make it a ‘left hand’ mouse to make the right button the primary one.  Having reversed buttons really screwed up coworkers and friends who want to type something on my computer. <smirk>

        Moral of this long story…get a keyboard shelf device.  20+ years ago, I remember seeing some with an ‘extension’ for the mouse.  Otherwise, simply screw a 10×10 piece of fiberboard to the underside of the tray for a mouse.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2388972
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          With a laptop, as in my case, going along with the low shelf  for the keyboard idea, one should also get an external keyboard to hook to the computer.

          Laptop or desktop, people I knew used to stretch their legs between chairs and type with the (external) keyboard on their laps. If one is using an editor like vi on the Linux/macOS/etc. command line, one can move the cursor with key shortcuts without the need of using a mouse. I imagine there may be editors for the GUI that can be used in this way.

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    Viewing 5 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, no politics or religion.

    Reply To: Adjust the height of your keyboard and mouse!

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.