New Hope Coal’s Paul Stringer has turned to healthy eating after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during a workplace health check.
New Hope Coal’s Paul Stringer has turned to healthy eating after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during a workplace health check. Claudia Baxter

Miners join battle of the bulge

IPSWICH miners are swapping their hot chips and pies for salad in a bid to stave off diabetes.

Statistics gathered by Diabetes Queensland suggest 75% of miners are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes because of long and inactive shifts.

New Hope Coal Moreton district general manager Paul Stringer can testify to the health issues miners experience.

For more than five years diabetes stripped him of all his energy, to the point where he was exhausted walking from the office to his car.

Mr Stringer pushed his body to the limit during a five-year stint at Moranbah.

He ate only once a day, in the evening, and drank copious amounts of coffee.

"My body went into starvation mode and was storing fats," he said.

Mr Stringer took advantage of his company's health check and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

He was told to take 170 units of insulin a day.

"Part of the employment package for New Hope was a full medical check. I didn't do it at first, but I got to the stage where I couldn't stay awake in meetings."

Since January, Mr Stringer, his wife and colleagues have swapped their old eating habits for a healthy lifestyle of six smaller-portioned meals a day and exercise.

A disciplined Mr Stringer built up his stamina from being completely inactive to swimming 1500m in the morning and walking 4.5km every evening.

The results speak for themselves.

He has dropped 29kg, reduced his daily insulin intake to 44 units a day and feels he has added 10 years to his career.

"I feel a lot better and I think everyone should do it.

"I'm not trying to win a heart. It makes life a lot easier," he said. 

 

Miner risk

42% of miners are a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

33% of miners get less than 2 1/2 hours of physical activity a day.



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