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Supine Workstations


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I've been working to get reasonable accommodations at work for the past 16 months and haven't had a paycheck since July. Over the past 16 months, I've lost nearly a year's salary due to missed work. I can only sit normally for about an hour before becoming severely symptomatic, and this has been a significant limiting factor on my ability to work. It's been a pretty bad year for me, all in all, because of financial pressures, marital stress, and now a lawsuit against my employer... the federal government... not to mention simply living with POTS.

But I'm not writing to complain; I'm writing because I may have just found hope!!! Supine workstations! Maybe some of you who can't work for similar reasons might find some hope in this, too, so I thought I'd share. :P

There are companies out there that build workstations and chairs for people that have to work lying down. Of course, it's a pricey solution (from about $1,500 to $10,000) and a hit on the ego because coworkers can see the disability (particulary compared to working from home as an accommodation), but if a workplace needs you to be in the office, it could be a real possibility!

These things are amazing - they have supine solutions from the very simple to the very complex:


This website led me to these workstations and also includes really helpful lists of workplace accommodations: Job Accommodation Network - Searchable Online Accommodation Resource/SOAR (list of companies for supine workstations: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/cgi-win/OrgQuery.exe?Wor55)

And here's the website with the supine workstations shown above: ErgoQuest, Inc.

This is just so cool!!! :)

P.S. The Americans with Disabilities Act (for private sector employees) and The Rehabilitation Act (for federal employees) in the U.S. (enforced by the EEOC) require all employers to provide Reasonable Accommodations (that don't cause undue hardship on the employer) for qualified individuals with disabilities.

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Even cheaper, there is a frame called the "laidback laptop" that you can use to see how you like working reclined. I've used it occasionally, but it bothers my neck to work supine. I prefer to take a lot of breaks from sitting, and I do basically okay. Because of my bad back, I do have a recliner like the one shown. It's the "perfect chair" by integrative health. I have the motorized one. Not cheap, but I love it. the only chair that I get up from feeling better than when I sat down. I have one at home and at work--both of which I paid for. You can try them out at "relax the back" stores. i then hunted around and found one for cheaper online.

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Thanks for the link! The laidback laptop could be really good for working from home. My stomach is always getting super-warm from balancing my computer on top of it.

I approached the idea of a supine workstation with my employer today, and it is the first time they have actually started dialoguing with me on accommodations, after 16 months, asking which model I thought would be suitable for my needs!

The best holiday present ever for me would be to get back to work. :)

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Amazing! I never knew such things existed. Those supine workstations are pretty cool stuff.

I wish I had known about the laidback laptop long ago! We created our own little set-up using a recliner, a table that fits under it (from a medical supply store), a thingy that tilts the laptop at an angle and then I use a separate keyboard and mouse. It works okay, but does hurt my neck. It's far, far better than what I used before though which strained my neck even more!

I wouldn't have even known such products existed, thanks for sharing!


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I just received a response from my doctor. She spoke with my specialist and neither of them had experience with supine workstations, either. She did think that they would be helpful for a return to work, though!

It seems like such a simple idea that would be so helpful to many of us who can't sit up for extended periods of time. I wonder why no one has heard of them?

Like Amy said - they would certainly be less costly (both financially and in resources) than losing an experienced person simply because he or she suffers from POTS.

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