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There is substantial evidence that sitting increases the risk of ill health. However it is not as simple as "not sitting".
The evidence is that it is sitting for prolonged periods that leads to problems. Sitting interspersed with regular bouts of activity, not necessarily exercise, can offset the risks associated with sitting. Equally substituting sitting in the one place with standing in the one place is not an effective response. Sitting all day and then having vigorous exercise before or after work probably does not help either. The Heart Foundation recommends activity every half hour. This could be as simple as standing up and moving around a bit during phone calls.
For more information please read ideas for increasing your activity levels.
As of 10 March 2014 Deakin became a smoke free University.
Information for managers and supervisors
You can provide guidance and support for staff who are smokers by encouraging them to initially look at the Deakin Smoke-Free website. Ask them to familiarise themselves with the Smoking and Tobacco policy and with the support services available. In particular:
Many smokers make seven to eight attempts before they are successful in overcoming their addiction. For many people, quitting smoking is the hardest thing they will ever do. The workplace should be a place that supports this challenging process.
You can be supportive by:
You should encourage your staff to develop strategies to manage their smoking even if they believe they cannot quit. Research shows that quitting abruptly is more effective than cutting down unless you are cutting down as part of a structured program where someone other than you decides when you can smoke. you should also be willing to discuss support options, for example, arranging work schedules to allow attendance at QUIT programs.
As a manager, you are expected to deal with absences from work due to smoking in the same way you would deal with other unauthorised or excessive absences during paid work time.
You can seek advice from your HR Client Partner on how to deal with specific performance or behavioural issues (such as unexplained or unauthorised absences, poor work performance, irritability etc.). If there are personal safety or welfare issues involved advice can be sought from the Health, Wellbeing and Safety team.
You are responsible for:
For many people, quitting smoking is the hardest thing they will ever do. The workplace can be a place that supports this challenging process.
You can be supportive of your collegues who smoke by:
All staff are responsible for:
Around one million Australian adults live with depression. Over two million have an anxiety disorder. On average, one in five women and one in eight men will experience depression in their lifetime; and one in three women and one in five men will have an anxiety disorder. Depression and anxiety affect different people in different ways: they can be mild, transient and easily managed or they can be serious, debilitating and life-threatening.
Depression and anxiety can have a profound impact on all aspects of life, including work. Most people experiencing depression or an anxiety disorder are able to remain at work. Others however, will need time off. In these cases, the University can play a key role in ensuring that returning to the workplace is a smooth process for the individual, the team and the organisation. If a staff member experiencing depression or anxiety returns to work in an appropriate and meaningful role, this may decrease the likelihood of relapse and increase the likelihood of the University retaining the skills and experience of that individual. Similar approaches can be used to assist staff members stay at work where practical and with their doctor’s support.
The following document provides guidance on supporting or returning a staff member with depression or anxiety to work:
WorkSafe and Beyond Blue: Supporting the return to work of employees with depression (407 KB)
The Australian Human Rights Commission has released a guide that will assist managers and supervisors to find the best way to maximise productivity while reducing the incidence of illness in their workplaces. The Guide provides information on how to appropriately support workers with mental illness. It also provides information about how to develop and promote a safe and healthy work environment for all workers. The guide is intended to help managers and supervisors understand their obligations under Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and disability discrimination legislation and to understand mental illness and how to talk about mental illness.
Australian Human Rights Commission: Workers with Mental Illness: a Practical Guide for Managers, May 2010
Further advice on return to work or maintenance at work can be obtained through your Human Resources contact or the OHS Unit. Where mental illness has an ongoing affect on work, then further assistance or advice can also be sought from Disability Services within the Equity and Diversity Unit.
Further information is also contained in:
The University will provide reasonable reimbursement for costs associated with the replacement or repair of clothing damaged in the course of employment: Compensation for damage to clothing (15 KB)
Staff may claim a small subsidy after they obtain prescription glasses for work purposes: Optical glasses subsidy (20 KB)