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Buyer's Guide

Desk Buyer's Guide



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Overview
There are a variety of ergonomic desks available - from traditional workstations to integrated designs that attach the monitors stand and keyboard tray directly to a chair. There are even desks with a recessed area that houses your monitor so that you don't lose valuable desktop space. Read on for an overview of the different types of desks and related accessories.

Work Stations

Accessories

Computer Workstation
Simple computer workstations are relatively small desks that generally have two shelves. One shelf (often sliding) accommodates a keyboard and mouse, and one supports the monitor.

Flat Work Station
Another commonly used type, the flat work surface offers a larger surface area to accommodate stacks of documents or books. This type of desk is better suited for paperwork than computer work. Therefore, if used to also support a computer, it is often advisable to integrate a monitor riser and adjustable keyboard tray.

Integrated Work Systems
An integrated work system is a single piece of furniture in which the chair, keyboard tray and monitor support are all attached.

Recessed Monitor Desk
Recessed monitor desks contain a monitor support beneath the work surface and a glass or plastic-covered "cut-out" that enables the user to look through their work surface to see the monitor. Since these desks remove the monitor from the surface, they are often used by people who need to increase available desk space or allow for an unobstructed view across their desk (such as bankers or managers).

Height Adjustable Work Surface
These flat surfaces are generally height adjustable in increments, either manually or electronically.

Sit-Stand Workstation
A sit-stand workstation features a height-adjustable work surface, monitor stand, andkeyboard/mouse tray, allowing the worker to alternate between working in the sitting and standing positions.

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Keyboard/Mouse Trays
Keyboard or mouse trays attach to the bottom of the user's desk, providing a shelf upon which to place the keyboard, mouse, or both. Many office desks are too high to properly position a keyboard and mouse, and using a tray helps overcome this problem. Adjustability (height and tilt) are good features.

CPU Supports
CPU supports provide an area specifically designed to house the CPU (i.e. the main "box" of your computer). They serve to isolate the unit from dust and accidental contact that could result from the CPU being placed on the floor. They also provide an alternative to occupying desk space with the CPU. Floor CPU supports typically raise the CPU above the ground and have casters that allow easy movement. Desk-mounted CPU holders hang the CPU underneath the worksurface, and often allow the user to pull the CPU out for easy access.

Ergonomic Pens
Ergonomic pens have a slightly wider and cushioned grip, and are recommended for individuals who write frequently. Pen grips can be fitted onto existing pens, or specially designed pens can be purchased.

Monitor Arms
Monitor arms, also called "swing arms" or "swivel arms," allow the user to put the monitor on a platform attached to an adjustable arm. This allows the user to easily position the monitor directly in front of her, or to the side to provide an unobstructed view. This also gives the user more available desk space.

Monitor Stand
Monitor stands, also called "monitor risers" or "monitor blocks," serve to provide a platform upon which a user can place a monitor to provide additional height, bringing the monitor into the recommended position. Many monitor stands are height-adjustable.

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