20 August 2020

Staying active throughout COVID-19

Despite the obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, participants in the third annual Healthhaven challenge clocked up an outstanding 64,773,453 steps and 375,634 active minutes.

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.

Ordinarily the challenge concludes with all participants receiving a health check to see how far they’ve come, but this year Coronavirus restrictions meant health assessments weren’t able to be conducted at the end of the eight-week challenge.

Nonetheless the pandemic meant participants got creative, including Andrew Alloway, who logged more than 1.2 million steps over eight weeks.

Andrew is a supervisor at the Maules Creek Mine, and while he considered getting involved in the challenge last year, 2020 was the first year he signed up for Healthhaven.

“I did want to improve my health and set a good example for my kids, but I also have a very competitive streak, and signed up to beat a teammate who does triathlons…which I did!” said Andrew.

“Where we live, I found myself driving a lot – for the challenge I started walking everywhere, and it changed my mindset. In fact I recently went on a holiday with my family and we walked everywhere, leaving the car at home.

“I’ve got four kids, and while they were homeschooling during Coronavirus, the challenge was a good way to get out of the house too. And at work, if we had a wet day, I’d be doing laps around the crib room or down the hallway to the point where my teammates would say ‘can you just stand still for a minute?!’”

Through the online Healthhaven hub, members of the workforce can access resources to help establish healthy behaviours, through things such as advice on nutrition, exercise and work-life balance, or research studies on certain health topics.

Over the eight weeks, Andrew lost about 20kg, but he says the impact has gone far beyond the weightloss.

“It’s a team building experience with my workmates, so not only is it good for your health, it’s good for your mental health as well,” said Andrew.

“The challenge has seen us all walking a lot more, and my eldest daughter walks everywhere with me now. It didn’t just change me, it changed my whole family.”


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