Firms told to protect workers from risks of prolonged sitting

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has issued an order for establishments to protect workers from the risks of prolonged sitting.

Signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Department Order No. 184 directs business establishments to implement regular five-minute breaks every two hours from sitting time.

The order also encourages workers to reduce sedentary work by interrupting sitting time and substituting it with standing and walking.

It also requires employers to ensure that workstations are designed appropriately for the type of work, and provide sit-stand or properly designed workstations that would facilitate easy mobility of workers.

Business establishments are also directed to redesign work tasks in such a way that it would enable greater variability in movement or posture.

Employers are required to conduct health promotion activities that would heighten the awareness of workers toward the health effects of prolonged sitting and sedentary work.

Among the health effects associated with prolonged sitting include the development of musculoskeletal disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, diabetes, and obesity.

To ensure strict implementation, the DOLE regional offices are tasked to inspect and monitor compliance of covered employers and business establishments.

The guidelines will take effect 15 days from its publication. (YJG/SunStar Philippines)