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Sitting around is bad for our health, even if we are regular exercisers. Here are some pointers for getting off your backside.

Recent research has linked sedentary behaviour (sitting or lying for long periods) with a range of conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and premature death. The negative effect seems to be related to how our bodies process fats and sugars. The enzymes required are produced when certain muscles contract during standing, ABC Health & Wellbeing reports. When we sit for too long their production slows down.

So here are some ideas to break up our hours spent sitting:

At work

  • Hold meetings with your team standing at each other’s work stations
  • Try standing while you use the phone or read emails or reports
  • Set up your rubbish bin, drawers, printer and other things you may need at a distance from your desk
  • Walk over to your workmates’ desks to talk to them
  • Set a reminder on your computer to stand up regularly
  • Drink more water during the day. You’ll be walking to the toilet more often
  • Go for a walk at lunch, even if it’s only for 10 minutes
  • Walk or ride to work
  •  Park or get off public transport a bit farther from your destination.

At home

  • Take phone calls standing up. Walk around
  • Put the remote control away
  • Do household chores such as ironing or folding clothes while watching TV
  • Embrace household chores
  • Stand while catching up on news in the paper or on your personal device
  • Walk or ride to do errands.

PPE is clothing or equipment designed to control risks to health and safety in the workplace.
It includes:
• eye protection (goggles, safety glasses)
• hearing protection (ear plugs, ear muffs)
• breathing protection (respirators, face masks, cartridge filters)
• foot protection (safety boots)
• head protection (hard hats, helmets, sun hats)
• body protection (high-visibility garments, thermal wear, overalls, aprons, safety harnesses)
• substances used to protect health (sun screen)
• outer wear (reflective vests, fluoro jackets).
PPE is the least satisfactory solution to health and safety problems in the workplace, as it does not address the hazard – it only provides a shield to protect the worker.
PPE should therefore be used in addition to other control measures that provide workers with a higher level of safety, rather than replacing those measures.

By law, you must cooperate with your employer’s health and safety requirements.
That means that if your employer requires you to use PPE, you must use it. If you refuse to wear or use your PPE, your employer can take disciplinary action and you can face prosecution.
It is not your responsibility to pay for or supply PPE. However, if it is supplied, you must not interfere with, mistreat or misuse it.
Tell your employer if the PPE becomes damaged, broken or defective in any way. Also, if the PPE is uncomfortable or does not fit properly, speak to your manager.
If you see someone not using PPE when they should be, warn them of the risk they are taking and immediately tell your manager.
As your employer supplies (and owns) the PPE, you may have to return it if you leave your workplace.

Your employer must provide you with PPE where it is necessary to ensure your health and safety at work.
It is an offence for your employer to charge you for any safety equipment.
If your employer requires you to use PPE, they must provide you with adequate instruction and training.
Your employer must also ensure that the PPE is provided in a clean and hygienic condition, and is properly maintained and repaired.
A risk assessment will show whether PPE is necessary. If your employer doesn’t have a written risk assessment, get them to contact WorkCover for advice.

For more information on PPE or for specific advice on your workplace situation, call WorkCover on 13 10 50 or visit our website at
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