DOLE orders 5-minute standing breaks for desk workers every 2 hours

Patty Pasion

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DOLE orders 5-minute standing breaks for desk workers every 2 hours
The Department of Labor and Employment requires employers to give regular 5-minute standing breaks to workers who sit for prolonged periods

MANILA, Philippines – After mandatory sitting breaks, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) now requires employers to grant their workers standing breaks. 

Department Order (DO) 184 provides that workers “who have to spend long hours sitting at work” should be given regular 5-minute breaks every two hours. 

The order signed October 18 covers those involved in “computer, administrative, and clerical works” and those working in highly-mechanized establishments and “in the fields of transportation, toll booths, information technology, and business process management and industries where sedentary work is observed.”

Other occupational health and safety standards that the new directive specifies include:  

  • encouraging workers to reduce sedentary work by standing and walking 
  • ensuring that the workstation is ergonomic-friendly to the nature of work 
  • ensuring that the workstation allows easy mobility for workers 
  • redesigning tasks to enable mobility 
  • organizing health-related activities like calisthenics and dance lessons 
  • conducting awareness campaigns on the effects of a sedentary lifestyle 
  • examining workers who are potentially at risk of the health effects of prolonged sitting  

DO 184 follows another order that prohibits employers from requiring workers to wear high heels at work and gives them sitting breaks. (READ: DOLE: Employers can’t force women to wear high heels at work)

The new order will be effective 15 days after publication in a major newspaper. –

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.