DOLE Now Requires ‘Standing Break’ for Desk Workers

We often hear about sitting breaks, which makes sense since it is tiring to be on your feet for hours while working. But do you know that sitting for long hours is just as hazardous to your health as standing.

Due to this, the Department of Labor and Employment issued an order which requires company to give their employees standing breaks. Department Order 184 sets mandatory occupational safety and health standards in all workplaces addressing the health hazards and ensuring safe working conditions in the workplace.

Unknown to most, prolonged sitting or sedentary work, such as  those done in call centers or factories, poses health risks to workers because it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders among others.

Under D.O. 184, employers must provide workers with regular five-minute breaks every two hours from sitting time.

According to DOLE,” [Employers] must encourage workers to reduce sedentary work by interrupting sitting time and substitute it with standing and walking. Redesign work tasks, if possible, to enable greater variability in mobility or posture,” the labor department said in its order.

Workstations must be designed appropriately for the type of work and redesign work tasks to enable greater variability in movement or posture.

Furthermore, employers should conduct awareness campaigns on the health effects of sedentary work and periodic testing among workers who are at health risk from prolonged sitting.

The Department Order applies to all workers who due to the nature of their work, have to spend long hours sitting. They may be workers involved in computer, administrative, and clerical works.

The DO, issued on Oct 18, 2017, shall be effective 15 days after its publication in newspapers.