HealthCare

Building Healthy Environments For Men: International Men's Health Week 2022

  • 9 Jun 2022

Why is it that physical and mental health is always brushed under the carpet when it comes to men? As progressive as we like to think we are in the 21st century, gender roles still form a huge part of how societies function worldwide. It is evident in so many forms that the disparity between men and women concerning physical and mental health is extreme, but what are the reasons behind this, and what can be done to ensure a healthier future for men? The need of the hour is to explore and implement laws and action on what is being done to ensure men are receiving the healthcare they require this International Men's Health Week 13 - 19 June 2022.

Importance of Men's Health Awareness

While women have their own health challenges, it is equally important to participate in men's health. Studies suggest that men are likely to have lesser life spans than women. Current life expectancy estimates that, on average, men live five years less than women. According to research, 58% of women aged 75 & above had experienced the death of their spouse, compared to 28% of men. Most of the men in this age group were still married. These statistics paint a bleak picture of what is supposed to be men's "golden years."

What are the reasons behind the shorter lifespan for men? According to a recognized educational organisation, men often:

  • are more likely to commit to unhealthy behaviour such as drinking alcohol and smoking
  • do not look out for medical attention when they need it
  • are less likely to own health insurance
  • are more likely to work in hazardous careers
  • are less probable to embrace preventive health practices

This translates as a reminder to men: the next time you sprain your ankle, turn a knee, feel a little chest tightness, convince yourself to see your health provider and have it checked out. Do not neglect. Put effort into your well-being.

The same holds true with getting annual preventive screenings for the early detection and treatment of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and depression.

This is essential because some diseases and health conditions initially don't exhibit signs and symptoms. Plus, consulting a doctor will give a chance to learn more about health, how to improve it, and live a healthier, better quality of life.

The men need to take care of their health by:

  • Eating healthy and being active: This includes going to sleep and waking up on time, consuming a balanced diet, and exercising regularly. It can naturally be tempting for men to turn towards alcohol, smoking, junk food, or such unhealthy habits as a coping mechanism, but this will eventually harm them more and less able to deal with things.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation: Alcohol use is one of the most important preventable risk factors for cancer. Alcohol usage increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon, which is more common among men. Consuming alcohol also raises the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of impotence and infertility. Smoking decreases sperm concentration, motility, morphology, and DNA, leading to male infertility and impotence. Men who smoke are at a heightened threat of erectile dysfunction and other sexual complications.
  • Know your family's health history: Men must be their own advocates and know their family's history of cancers, diabetes, etc. Maintain a relationship with your primary care provider, and get checked in the required intervals. Early diagnoses can work huge miracles.
  • Get screening tests to check for health problems before you have symptoms: Getting the right screening test at the right time is one of the best things a man can do for his health. Keep a check on your health, and if you do have a condition, it's better to detect it at the earliest to begin treatment early. The tests one needs are based on age, history, weight, and other factors.
  • Make sure you're up to date on your shots: Take shots that will help keep you from getting sick. Consult your healthcare provider to find out which shots you may need.

Conclusion

If population health is to be improved and good health is a universal right, steps must be taken to equally improve men's and women's health. There is no choice to be made between men's health and women's health: this need not be a zero-sum game. 

Join Project Global Cure on this International Men’s Health Week in building healthy environments for both men and boys, as action is needed now, and improving men's health will also improve women's health.

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