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Sitting could now be considered a workplace hazard!



Australian employers could be breaching workplace health and safety laws due to allowing "excessive sitting" by workers, according to a paper released yesterday from researchers at Curtin University.

The paper found that an unbelievable 75% of office workdays were spent sitting, including multiple unbroken periods of at least 30 minutes. Excessive "occupational sitting" can have serious health effects including heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes and is estimated to account for 5.9% of premature deaths.

The researchers said workplace environments in contemporary offices carried a "high likelihood of excessive sitting" and the evidence of the substantial harm it carried was now well known. The Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act simply require employers to provide a "safe system of work" for their workers.

National Heart Foundation WA cardiovascular health director Trevor Shilton said, standing was better than sitting from a health perspective and walking was better than standing. "It's all about movement," he continues.

"Our chair might be our new risk factor,"says Shilton. While currently it is unlikely employers would face legal action for overseeing excessive sitting, he noted smoke-free workplaces and sunscreen had become standard.

Keeping up to date on all the latest occupational health and safety legislation is the smartest way to avoid not only workplace incidents but also big money losses.

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Having this security will not only make your company an attractive place to work but also an environment at allows your employees to thrive in their professions, increasing your business’s value.