Men's Health

Men’s Health Week: How Healthy are you guys?

Men’s Health Week: How Healthy are you guys?

June 13 – 19th 2022 is Men’s Health Week, an important week to bring awareness to and help men get on top of their biggest asset – their health. 

While we often think of prostate or testicular cancer as the largest concern, the challenges do run far wider. The New Zealand Medical Journal state that overall, men have a lower life expectancy and health status than women. While some of these challenges are related to lifestyle factors, ethnicity and age do also play a role. The goods news is that the statistics show that this lower life expectancy tends to relate to preventable and manageable issues and that there are steps that men can take to reduce their risk. 

The Facts: 

When you home in on the facts and statistics, it becomes apparent why Men’s Health Week is so important. Statistics show that men are: 

  • 20% more likely to die from a heart attack (see debrillators)
  • 30% more likely to develop diabetes (see diabetes products)
  • 3 times more likely to face challenges with mental health, with research showing 1 in 8 New Zealand men will experience serious depression at some point in their lives (Mens Health Week, 2022)
The Challenges:

Research has shown that men are three times less likely than women to visit a medical professional for their health concerns, with 3,000 men dying each year due to preventable and manageable conditions (Mens Health Trust, 2022). 

Surveys suggest that the reasons men avoid seeing the doctor range from embarrassment or discomfort over discussing certain issues, to not wanting to be told that they will need to change their lifestyle (Ianzito, 2019). There is also a factor of the “man up” approach, where men feel that they will be judged for seeking advice (Mens Health Trust, 2022). In New Zealand, poor health outcomes in Māori and Pacific men result from socioeconomic factors, lifestyle factors and poorer access to quality healthcare (G David Baxter, 2017). 

The Take Home: 

While the statistics are sobering, the good news is that it doesn’t need to be this way and far too many men are dying of or facing preventable illnesses. By being proactive and making changes to lifestyle, talking about what is going on and attending regular health check-ups, men can reduce the risk to their health (Mens Health Trust, 2022). 

If the thought of seeing a medical professional still makes you feel uneasy, useful resources like What’s Your Score?  and Living Healthy via Men’s Health Trust provide great tools as a first step to learn to identify your risks, and provide tips on how to make changes to ensure you live a long, and healthy life. This doesn’t replace visiting your healthcare professional, and if you are experiencing concerning symptoms, you should visit your GP. 

The above information is designed to be used as a guide only. Please consult with your healthcare professional to ensure that you receive the most accurate information for your situation and needs.