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Byron Shire
June 15, 2021

Men give health the cold shoulder: study

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Three-quarters of Australian blokes don't know the symptoms of prostate and testicular cancer. (file pic)
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Gather round gents and lean in lads, here’s some advice: stop giving your health and wellbeing the cold shoulder.

A study by the Movember Foundation has found three-quarters of Australian blokes don’t know the symptoms of prostate and testicular cancer.

Half of us don’t even know the signs of depression, even though this same number will experience a mental health issue at some stage of our lives.

The inaugural Man Files study, which questioned more than 1500 Australian men on the state of their bodies and minds, also revealed only one in three men admit to taking their health and wellbeing seriously.

The results indicate a stigma in admitting to mental illness at work, with men three times as likely to lie to their boss about needing time off for mental health issues than physical issues.

With this attitude, it’s no wonder just one in five men say they are currently healthy and happy.

‘One in five saying they’re at their happiest and their healthiest would suggest we have an issue to address,’ said Jeremy Macvean, director of Movember Asia Pacific.

Mr Macvean said the desire to hold up a “macho” and masculine appearance could contribute to the findings.

‘It’s important, particularly with mental health, that men are taking action as quickly as they need to, to ensure they stay as happy and healthy as they can.’

Perceptions of health and wellbeing differed significantly for each age group, with those in their early thirties seeing them as the golden years but those nearing a half-century most likely to be in a rut.

Half of the men aged 30-34 said they are the happiest they have been in their life and one in three were at their healthiest.

But just 10 per cent of men aged 45-49 see themselves as at their healthiest, and only a third say they are happiest.

MEN’S HEALTH AND WELLBEING IN AUSTRALIA

* One in five (17 per cent) men feel they are at healthiest and happiest point in life

* A third of men (33 per cent) don’t take their health seriously

* Three-quarters (71 per cent) don’t know the symptoms of prostate cancer and testicular cancer (75)

* Half (50) are unfamiliar with the symptoms of depression

* Men more likely to talk to their GPs (83 per cent) than their partners (68)

* Men three times as likely to lie to boss about time off for mental health (51 per cent) than physical health (14 per cent)

* Family is the most important thing in men’s lives (24 per cent of responses), followed by physical health (21), relationships (11), mental health (10), home (7), money (5), sex life (4), career (3) and mates (3).


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