DOLE Orders Employers to Provide Regular Standing Breaks for Employees
For the benefit of those desk employees who used to sit for long periods of time in a day, the Philippine government is now ordering employers to provide employees with regular standing breaks.
The Department Order No. 184, which would give employees regular five minute breaks every two hours from sitting time, is in line with the government’s efforts to address several health issues related to the employees’ sedentary lifestyle.
The order covers all employees who “have to spend long hours sitting at work” such as computer, clerical and administrative jobs.
The order is in light of several studies associating stationary lifestyle and extended periods of sitting to increased health risk like high blood pressure, obesity and heart ailments.
Previous studies have revealed the dangers of sitting for long periods of time even when combined with exercise.
In fact, in a recent study, it was revealed that the time a person spends sitting has a direct relationship with the risk of early death.
Under the new order, employers must encourage employees to reduce desk-bound job and interrupt sitting time with either simply standing or walking.
Moreover, it also mandates companies to create work environment that provides employees a chance to make some motion, and such include modifying work system and activity planning that will allow employees to perform more physical activities after office hours.
DOLE further orders employers to provide sit-stand workstations or to conduct standing meetings.
Moreover, employers and companies must likewise monitor the health of their employees and educate them about the effects of prolonged sitting.
The order further states that employees and establishments shall inform the agency through its regional office, which has jurisdiction over their workplace, regarding the adoption or implementation of the safety and health measures as required therein.
Meanwhile, the agency’s regional offices are to conduct inspection and monitor the proper and strict implementation of this recent order.
The order shall take effect 15 days following its publication in a newspaper. As for employers, they must notify the agency regarding their compliance with the new health measure.