This week is Mens Health Week and research indicates that only 17% of men are reaching exercise guidelines. Lack of exercise is a major contributing factor to the following statistics:
- On average, men account for 7 out of 9 suicides. Inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from depression.
- 1 in 2 men are at risk of a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
- Men have a 1 in 6 chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 85.
- Heart disease is the cause of death for 40% more men than women.
- Men are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than women.
The prevalence of heart disease, mental health conditions, type 2 diabetes and cancer are higher in rural and regional areas like our beautiful Snowy Valleys compared to major cities. Increased physical activity is proven to reduce disease burden and improve quality of life measures. Top reported reasons for men not meeting physical activity recommendations include lack of time due to work or family commitments, lack of interest, increasing age and persisting injuries.
Australian guidelines recommend 2.5 – 5 hours of activity per week, including strength training on at least 2 days. Physical activity does not have to mean joining a gym, there are lots of small changes men can implement to have a significant impact on their well-being. Forms of activity can include walking, social exercise groups, resistance training or different sports. Increasing physical activity levels is shown to decrease stress, improve heart health, improve sleep quality and reduce injury risk at work or sport.
What else can men do to support better health?
Men are less likely to visit their doctor for an annual health check compared to women. On average men also wait until a disease or injury has progressed further before seeking medical attention. In the same way you would not want to skip a car service, it is important not to neglect regular health screens.
If you are not currently meeting the exercise guidelines or need individual advice, it may be time to book in and see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and start Exercising Right!
For more information, advice and strategies call us on (02) 5926 3806 to book with an Exercise Physiologist (or book online) and download the Exercise & Sports Science Australia Exercise and Men’s Health eBook.