OJI Paper Recycling Mill (formerly Carter Holt Harvey) in Penrose invited the Men’s Health Trust to give a Workplace Health Talks to their shift workers for Men’s Health Month in June.

Many of the men at Oji Mill work gruelling shifts. It’s the nature of the job. After a few 12 hour shifts of day work, they then have a few days off before switching to night shifts.

Shift work is notoriously hard on the body, it affects sleeping patterns, eating patterns, and can be hard on relationships. A lot of the men we met had fallen into the habit of drinking soft drinks to keep their energy up, and ordering take-aways at meal times as an easy option. Its a bad combination when your job involves long periods of sitting down.

As a result of their lifestyle and eating choices, a lot of the men had an unhealthy amount of stomach fat and are at risk of developing diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.

We take our hats off to OJI in regard to their health policies. They offer all their workers free health check-ups at their local clinics, but unfortunately, but uptake is low.

That’s one of the reasons they asked us to come and talk to their men. With help from our Unitec volunteer male nurses, the Men’s Health Trust gave five workplace talks and health checks at the mill (to cover all the shifts) with the aim of inspiring them to live healthier by making healthier choices.

The talk has a strong focus on diet – eating better food (in particular, eating less sugar), and what happens over time if we don’t.

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We also got the men moving with our short interactive ‘boot camp’ style three minute workout that can be done anytime to improve heart health and fitness. After initial trepidation, it wasn’t long until everyone was up and giving it a go.

The second half of the talk focused on early symptoms of common illness and diseases like prostate cancer, lung cancer, gout and bowel cancer, and encouraging men to speak up and see a doctor early when something’s up (or not up as the case may be).

The final part covered health check-ups, mental health, stress, relationships and mate-ship.

We’ve had great feedback from OJI regarding the talks and we felt that the men really engaged with us at the time. Thanks for having us OJI, we hope we made a difference.

Click for more information and to book our MEN’S HEALTH TALK.