Solid Energy staff lighten up

23:32, Sep 20 2012
stl sept20 solid energy weight loss
Staff from Solid Energy's Ohai mine at one of their weigh ins.

Solid Energy’s New Vale and Ohai opencast mines are recording lighter loads – and staff couldn’t be happier about it.

Staff at the mines have been involved in a ‘Biggest Loser’ competition, co-ordinated by Sport Southland.

Designed to encourage staff to lose as much weight as they can through increasing physical activity and making sustainable diet improvements, the challenge runs for 12 weeks.

So far, the five teams have collectively lost more than 100kg.

Ohai mine truck and loader driver Greg Nelson has lost more than 7kg (about seven per cent of his body mass) and is leading the challenge.

He had made significant changes to his diet and exercise, he said.


“I have cut back what I eat, I eat a lot healthier and I’m exercising,” he said.

“I’m very conscious of what I eat; I’ll quite often bring a salad to work for lunch. I feel a lot healthier and a lot fitter.''

Solid Energy has put up prizes for the individual and the team that loses the greatest percentage of body weight.

Staff are weighed weekly and their losses recorded. They also take part in monthly exercise and nutrition presentations by Sport Southland.

Solid Energy occupational health nurse Jan McFarlane said there had been noticeable changes in staff since the challenge started.

“It is eight weeks into the challenge and I can see a remarkable improvement in the individuals – not just in weight loss, but in people’s attitudes at work,” she said.

Sport Southland active lifestyles co-ordinator Nicola Wylie said she was delighted staff had embraced the challenge physically and nutritionally.

''It can be hard, particularly when you work long hours in a sedentary job, to make exercise and nutrition a priority but Solid Energy staff at both New Vale and Ohai are proving that it can be done, and they are reaping the benefits because of it,” she said.

The Southland Times