In honour of Men’s Health Week that just finished, we’d like to share some uncommon facts about the health of men and boys and what we can do to improve these statistics.
The average life expectancy for men is 79 years, compared to women which is 84.
A number of male groups are also more at risk of lower life expectancy, including:
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders
- Migrants and those from CALD backgrounds
- Men with low-socio economic status
- Those living in prison or remote and rural areas
- Non-heterosexual, gay, bisexual, and transgender men
- Men with disability
Men have higher mortality rates from diseases that aren’t gender-specific. Out of the top 10 causes of premature death, they make up higher rates in:
- Suicide – 75%
- Trachea and lung cancers – 60%
- Blood and lymph cancers (including leukaemia) – 58%
- Ischaemic heart disease – 57%
- Colon and rectum cancers – 55%
Why the difference?
Some people think men have worse health than women because of genetics. However studies show that this only accounts for 30% of overall health. The rest is influenced by lifestyle factors.
Studies are still being conducted in this area. However several theories suggest that men do not prioritise their health as much as women do, or face social or cultural barriers to seeking help.
What can we do?
Everyone has a role to play in improving the health of men and boys. Here are some ways you can support yourself or someone else:
- Prioritise your health by living a balanced lifestyle: increase your daily exercise, eat and sleep well, and limit your alcohol consumption
- Be proactive in getting help if you don’t feel well or have an ongoing problem
- Remember there’s nothing wrong with seeking help, and speak to your family and friends
- Encourage men in your life to speak up about their issues and get help
- Look out for the men around you (eg. a neighbour or coworker) and check in with them if something seems wrong
We support people with disability in many different environments to work towards their goals. For more about how we can support you, contact us at 1800 610 665 today.