It’s fair to say that on average, men often overlook their health when compared to their female counterparts. Some of the statistics around men’s health and the gaps between men’s and women’s health are surprising and not always discussed or highlighted.
Did you know that men live on average 4.4 years less than women? And while men make up 56% of the workforce, 94% of all workplace fatalities are men?
To celebrate Men’s Health Week, we asked our resident Exercise Physiologist, Nicholas Steel, for some straightforward and easy things men can do to improve their health.
- Get checked – men are far less likely to seek or use health services compared to women. Men should be encouraged to deal with any health issues or symptoms properly by seeking appropriate health or medical services.
- Keep up the incidental physical activity – incidental physical activity is great for our overall health and men should be try to fit in small bits of incidental into each day. Examples include kicking a footy with the kids, mowing the lawn, washing the car or going for a surf. These are all great ways to expend and burn energy whilst getting out and about, as opposed to the more structured approach to exercise. Anything is better than nothing!
- Keep an eye on your waist circumference – measure yourself around your waist and aim to keep it under 95cm. There is a substantial increased risk in obesity-related health issues with a higher waist circumference. Keep an eye on that central adiposity (i.e watch the beer belly!).
- Minimise alcohol consumption – try swapping one drink (or one beer) for a glass of water or a non-alcoholic drink. Try and fit one glass of water between each beer to help minimise and break-up alcohol consumption. Switch from full-strength to mid-strength or light beer. Attempt at reducing either the amount of days that you consume an alcoholic beverage, or reduce the amount of drinks you have per sitting.
- Exercise regularly – exercise isn’t just beneficial to our physical health but is vital for maintaining positive mental health (which is particularly important for men). Men take their lives at four times the rate of women and the number of male suicides in Australia is nearly double the national road toll. Approximately one in eight men will experience depression and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their life. However, the good news is that research has repeatedly highlighted that exercise is a powerful tool for the prevention and management of mental health conditions.
Some extra reminders and small tips to incorporate into your daily routine that can help to make a big difference:
- Play a social sport with a group of mates and make it something enjoyableCatch up with a mate doing something active (surf, game of golf, hit of tennis)
- Take the stairs over the lift.
- Counting steps on your phone, watch or a pedometer app is a great incentive to keep your daily steps up and an easy reminder to move more – aim for the 10 000 steps per day!
- Incorporate core and back exercises into routines and gym sessions – building up our core and stabilizing muscles benefit every day function but also help minimise the risk of injury and back pain. Lower back pain injuries are prevalent in men with active jobs so ensure your back and core are well looked after!
Make an appointment today
If you’d like to start on your health journey or perhaps pickup from where you last left off, Nick would love to help you take the next step. He is easy going, highly experienced and passionate about helping people improve their health.
If you’d like to book in a personal consultation with Nick please call 1800 188 295, email [email protected], or visit www.griffith.edu.au/griffith-health/clinics for more information.