Sedentary workers to get standing breaks in the Philippines

The recommendation follows a recent directive to provide sitting breaks to employees who stand for long periods

Sedentary workers to get standing breaks in the Philippines
The Philippines’ Labour Department has issued an official order providing guidelines to employers with workers performing sedentary work on a regular basis.

The mandate – DO 184 – emphasizes the importance of ensure the health and safety of staff and identifies the possible risks faced by those who have to sit for long periods during the work day.

The document, signed by Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello, says the order applies to those doing computer, administrative or clerical work,   highly mechanized transportation, toll booths, information technology, business process outsourcing and all others who spend long periods sitting.

The risks are musco-skeletal disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, diabetes and obesity.

The order directed employers to institute appropriate measures to address these risks. Some of the measures are:
  • Taking regular five-minute breaks every two hours;
  • Reducing sedentary activity by interrupting sitting time and substituting it with standing or walking;
  • Designing workstations appropriately;
  • Changing work systems by, for instance, providing sit-stand stations to facilitate mobility;
  • Redesigning tasks;
  • Raising awareness on health standard;
  • Conducting medical surveillance.
The order was signed October 18 and will be effective 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

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