Men approach their health and well-being in a sometimes cavalier manner which puts them in danger of disease or perhaps even early death.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, released in 2014, show most Australian men are carrying too much weight, with 70 per cent being overweight or even obese. The reluctance of males to accept this, or do something about it if they have acknowledged it, is shown in the fact that only 11 per cent of men were on a diet for weight loss or for other health reasons.
Alcohol is also an issue with the statistics showing nearly one in three men, or some 29 per cent of those surveyed, drank more than the recommended two standard drinks per day on average, which was three times the rate for women.
In addition to these alarming statistics, Australian men spend much more time on sedentary leisure activities, with the typical Australian male spending an average of 13 hours a week watching TV and 5.5 hours using the computer or the internet. This compares with an average of four hours a week spent on physical activity.
The overall picture for men’s health is not bright and compounding this is the fact that men are traditionally also more reluctant to speak to health professionals about health issues, especially conditions such as stress and anxiety which males may think can be seen as a weaknesses.
It is important to encourage men to speak to health professionals and to look after themselves and an ideal place to start is at your community pharmacy.
Your pharmacy is your health advice centre and your pharmacist is trained to provide advice and counselling, along with a wide range of professional services. This is in addition to the pharmacy’s traditional role of dispensing medicines.
Men need also to be more aware of the need to ensure mental as well as physical fitness.
Many people experience mental health issues at some point in their lives and men are particularly reluctant to acknowledge this. If you are struggling you do not, and should not, have to do it alone. Help is available.
Experiencing mental health issues is quite common and is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it can take courage to admit there’s a problem, and to find some help. Mental health is like your physical health – the earlier you get onto it, the better.