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Recently there has been publicity about the health risks of sitting. 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.
More information: Ideas for increasing your activity levels.
The leading cause of preventable death in Victoria is smoking. Smoking-caused deaths in every area of the state outstrip other major avoidable deaths caused by alcohol, other drugs and road deaths, even when combined. Smoking is a contributing factor to almost 12% of all deaths in Victoria annually. (Source: Quit Victoria)
After recommendations from both the Burwood OHS Committee and the University OHS Subcommittee, smoking restrictions on the Melbourne Campus at Burwood (204 KB) have been introduced. People wishing to smoke will be restricted to five areas on the campus. The areas include the east side of building LA at Elgar road, the north and south sides of Building H (cafeteria), a small area on the south side of Building HB and the central courtyard from Burwood Highway to the south side of Building X.
Smoking on campus outside of these areas is not permitted.
Comments or other queries about these restrictions should be forwarded to the Burwood OHS Committee through the Executive Officer, Michael O'Donoghue (ext. 68175).
People wishing to reduce or stop smoking can find further information at the current students website or through Quit Victoria .
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)