Fighting fit for Healthhaven

With employees logging an outstanding 361,756 total active minutes over two months, the second annual Healthhaven challenge was a hit in 2019.

The challenge aims to encourage employees to live healthy and active lives, and starts with employees undergoing a comprehensive health check before competing against colleagues across Whitehaven’s sites for prizes over 8 weeks. The challenge concludes with all participants receiving a health check to see how far they’ve come.

Sean Harris, who works in the training department at the Maules Creek Coal mine, knows first hand the benefits of getting active and healthy.

“Before the 2018 challenge I was 117kg and now I’m about 92kg. The Healthhaven challenge made me realise how many excused I was making,” said Sean. “During the challenge my blood pressure came down, I had more energy, and I slowly started eating better. I continued on and took it to another level – and I’ve carried on this year.”

Sean now exercises five days a week and has stopped smoking.

“I’m now able to spend more time with my daughter and granddaughter, and I get out and about more,” he added. “it’s great to see more people giving it a go, because once you start, everything in your life gets better.”

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, almost 2 in 3 Australian adults were overweight or obese in 2014-2015 – and these figures are worse in regional areas. Indeed, 84% of people working in the NSW mining industry are considered overweight or obese.

Whitehaven Coal General Manager Health Safety Environment and Communities Kirsten Gollogly said she was delighted to see so many people at Whitehaven taking action to improve their health and wellbeing.

“To see Healthhaven go from strength to strength is extremely encouraging.”

“The challenge is focused on wellness and good dietary choices with the principle goal being to generate long term wellbeing for all employees. To achieve this, Whitehaven provides its workforce with the resources and strategies to establish healthy behaviour, through things such as advice on nutrition, exercise and work-life balance, or research studies on certain health topics, which are available on our online Healthhaven hub.”

“Ultimately it’s our goal to assist our employees to build healthy habits. This means having a big picture understanding of wellbeing that goes beyond the gym. It means being conscious of what you eat and drink and what triggers stress, which all contribute your health on a daily basis and in the long term.”

“We also want our employees to have fun with the challenge. Introducing a bit of healthy competition to the program goes a long way, and along with the many great prizes to be won, there’s the bragging rights for the fittest site.”