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A doctor’s prescription greatly increases your chances of getting a standing desk at work. However, you need to have a medical condition that requires you to work while standing to get this prescription from your physician.
This guide takes you through the whole process of getting a doctor’s prescription to help you request a standing desk. Plus, we have discussed other helpful tips you need to know.
How to get a doctor’s note for a standing desk?
To get a doctor’s note for a standing desk, simply approach your physician with your job description. This will help the physician get a clear picture of your typical day at work and whether working in a sitting position could be contributing to your ailments.
Thus, for you to qualify for this prescription, you should have a condition that requires you to stay on your feet while working.
Some of the potential diagnoses that can benefit from the use of a standing desk include chronic back pain, chronic discogenic pain, chronic neck pain, bilateral lower extremities, and cervicogenic headaches.
You can also write a summary of the work tasks you usually handle in a normal week can. This will create an impression that you’re serious about the desk and increase your chances of getting the standing desk prescription.
If you had a chance to try out a standing workstation before, consider mentioning it to your physician. This may help with your case.
You may also mention if you had tried other treatments and equipment options and they failed. This will make your doctor see that a standing desk could be a more viable option for your condition.
NOTE: Your physician can decide to write or not write you the prescription after looking at your case. If your general doctor doesn’t see the need to prescribe you a standing desk, you may consider visiting a specialist with a better understanding of ergonomics for your special condition.
What is a letter of medical necessity?
A letter of medical necessity refers to a doctor’s note specifically written to address the work equipment needs and other associated benefits for a given individual.
For example, if you suffer from back pain or any other issue when you sit at your office desk, then this qualifies you for a doctor’s prescription to let your company know that you need a standup workstation.
A typical note includes your name, date of birth, and insurance ID number (if applicable).
Inside the body of the note, your physician explains what condition they have been treating you for (and maybe, for how long). They will then go ahead and explain that prolonged sitting in your office chair isn’t healthy for you.
Or they can explain that you can lessen your pain or prevent it by using an adjustable standing desk.
Your medical doctor may also indicate that standing desks indeed offer health benefits to office workers and even list them if necessary. However, a good prescription should feature the standup desk health benefits that relate to your health issue.
The closing part of this letter should indicate your doctor clearly explaining that they recommend you to use an ergonomic adjustable standing desk at work.
While there’s no specific format for this prescription, it will include most of the details we have mentioned above.
Can a doctor prescribe a standing desk?
Yes, your medical can prescribe an adjustable standing workstation as long as you have a medical condition that could be helped by using an ergonomic standing desk.
In this case, the medic will give you a doctor’s note, also known as a letter of medical necessity—documentation that you can then present to your boss.
This letter will help you secure all or a portion of your standing desk cost being paid for by your company through your FSA (Flexible Savings Account) or HSA (Health Spending Account).
Who else can write you a prescription for standing desks?
Medical doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, registered nurses, or chiropractors can write you a letter of medical necessity for a standing desk.
You may also consider having more than one of the above medical professionals sign your standing desk prescription.
This helpful trick can significantly increase your chances of getting that height-adjustable desk at work.
Can I ask for a standing desk at work?
Absolutely! You can make standup desk requests at work if you have an underlying condition and your doctor determines that you need to be on your feet while working.
Mind you, this is a requirement by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which requires all employers to provide reasonable accommodations for their employees with disabilities that affect their major life activities such as breathing, standing, sitting, etc.
In simpler terms, this ADA accommodation law helps ensure any worker who needs a reasonable accommodation to make them feel comfortable when working.
From this law, we can interpret two key elements that qualify standing desks as a necessity for anyone with a special medicate condition that requires standing:
1. A standing desk is a reasonable accommodation
This office furniture costs a few hundred dollars and is reasonable for your employees.
This is unlike a situation where a wheelchair-bound employee whose workplace is located on the second floor of a building requests their company to install an elevator.
This is clearly way above a reasonable threshold!
2. Sit-stand desks qualify for interactive dialogue
Don’t know what this means? Well, the law requires all employers to have an interactive dialogue with their workers about their disabilities and their needs.
As an employer, you should respond to your employees’ requests to comply with the law.
Though they don’t have to comply with all your needs, this law ensures the boss can’t simply hide some company policy in hope that the situation goes away.
Additional tips for building your case for a standup desk
A doctor’s prescription is good for increasing your chances of getting that sit-stand desk. But you need to do more to ensure your employer doesn’t turn down your request and maybe cite that standing workstations are too costly, and other common excuses they give.
So, you need to build a solid business case to make your boss see that your standing desk request isn’t about doing you a personal favor but is simply a legitimate business expense.
Use these top tips to help you build a solid case:
Tip #1. What health benefits the standing desk offers you
You should be ready to explain to your manager or HR department the main reason why you need that standup workstation.
If it is tied to medical reasons, e.g. back pain, or you simply experience discomfort when sitting, you should mention this in your presentation. (And couple it with the doctor’s prescription).
If you have used a sit-stand desk before and it helped with your condition, be sure to include this information.
Remember, there’s reasonable accommodation legislation in place for your employer to provide you with the best possible working conditions.
Tip #2. Mention how a desk benefits your business
If your boss prioritizes tools that support their staff’s overall well-being and wellness at work and even has wellness programs in place, this can work in your favor.
This is because sit-stand desks have been shown to increase user productivity and help prevent health issues linked to too much sitting. This is because they allow adjusting positions while working, preventing excessive sitting.
Examples of these health problems include heart diseases, an increase in average blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
Tip #3. Do your homework well
Research the market in advance and have in mind what models you may want your employer to get for you. It also won’t hurt to indicate the price range of the model you need.
A doctor’s recommendation can increase the chances of getting a new standing desk at work. It will push your employer to make a reasonable accommodation that enables you to be on your feet while working as required by law.
The above guide has discussed the entire process of getting this letter of medical necessity. We have also discussed additional helpful information you need to know before getting this documentation.
Now go ahead, approach your doctor for that standing desk prescription, and present it to your boss to request one. And you’ll highly likely get that height adjustable desk you’ve been wishing for.