Human Resources Division

Health and wellbeing

Staying Active: Sit Less, Move More

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.


Smoking

As of 10 March 2014 Deakin became a smoke free University.

How can you help?

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:

  • Showing concern for them no matter what you think about their smoking
  • Not preaching, nagging or using guilt trips 
  • Keeping in regular contact with them to offer support and encouragement
  • Being sensitive to the needs of the smoker who is quitting 
  • Letting them know you believe they can do it and that they have your support whether they are able to quit now or later

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:

  • Ensuring that areas under your control are smoke-free
  • Communicating the policy in a relevant way to staff, students, contractors and visitors
  • Encouraging and supporting staff who wish to stop smoking
  • Discussing with Health Wellbeing and Safety about placing ‘No Smoking’ signs or of particular problem areas
  • Advising as appropriate in inductions new staff, students, contractors and visitors that the University is smoke free. If there is a persistent issue please contact Health Wellbeing and Safety

Information for collegues

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:

  • Showing concern for them no matter what you think about their smoking
  • Not preaching, nagging or using guilt trips 
  • Keeping in regular contact with them to offer support and encouragement
  • Letting them know you believe they can do it and that they have your support whether they are able to quit now or later

All staff are responsible for:

  • Cooperating in the implementation of the Smoking and Tobacco policy and the Code of Conduct.
  • Supporting colleagues who wish to stop smoking.
  • Advising people, as appropriate, that the University is smoke free. If there is a persistent issue then please discuss with your manager or supervisor.

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Mental illness

Depression and anxiety

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)

Work and mental illness

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 assistance

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:

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Compensation for damaged clothing

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)


Optical glasses subsidy

Staff may claim a small subsidy after they obtain prescription glasses for work purposes: Optical glasses subsidy (20 KB)


Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

28th March 2014