“I Don’t Need to Go to the Doctor – I’m Fine,” He Said.
If you’re a man reading this, I’d be willing to bet you’ve said those words several times, and if you’re a woman… well you’ve probably heard them from your dad, brother, husband, boyfriend all too often!
According to the CDC, women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men.
It’s no secret that men are difficult to get into a doctor’s office. “Go away. I’m all right,” were the last words of the novelist H. G. Wells, who died shortly after uttering them in 1946. That’s why most men may need a prod from a loved one every now and then to go get checked out.
Timed to correspond with Father’s Day (June 21 – don’t forget!) June 15-21 is Men’s Health Week, part of Men’s Health Month. It’s a great opportunity to reach men and their families with disease prevention and health awareness messages and tools, educational materials, screenings and more.
So in June make it your mission to get the men in your life to take their health seriously. Did you know:
- Heart Disease (24.6%) and cancer (24.1%) are by far the leading causes of death in males.1
- Men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of over 92% of workplace deaths.2
- In 1920, women lived, on average, one year longer than men. Now, men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women. 3
- Depression in men is often undiagnosed, contributing to the fact that men are 4x as likely to commit suicide. 4
It’s not rocket science, but get the men in your life to:5
- Get regular physicals – Prevention is always better than cure. Men of all ages need regular blood pressure & cholesterol tests to identify heart disease risk. Men in their 40s should begin screening for diabetes and prostate disorders, and for colorectal cancer in their 50s.
- Be active – Take a brisk walk, mow the lawn, join a sports team, get out on a bike. 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity for most days of the week should be the goal.
- Buy a fitness tracker or pedometer – (A great Father’s Day gift!). Setting a steps per day goal and keeping a step diary are key motivational factors for increasing physical activity in men.
- Eat healthy – Lay off fast food and sugary drinks. Eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, fat-free/low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Aim for foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Balance calories consumed with calories burned. Eating fewer calories and increasing physical activity as men age can prevent gradual weight gain over time.
- Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all – Put down the six-pack, and start working on a six-pack. A typical beer has 150 calories… Alcohol can also increase the appetite for pizza, wings, and chips!
- Stop smoking – Goes without saying doesn’t it…?
Although they won’t admit it, no man is perfect 100% of the time! But the men in your life can learn to make healthier choices every day. So this month, don’t just ask your dad, brother, husband, or boyfriend to get a check up, why not schedule it for them? They might just thank you…
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics
3 Life Expectancy data is from CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2013
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics 2011.