By Daniel Bingham
In the 21st century it has become more and more common to have a ‘cause week’. This week however is the cause week for half of all people, Men; and on the broad subject of ‘health’, which can help lead to two things we all seek and crave, happiness and dignity. This year Men’s Health Week runs from the 9th to 15th June.
Check out the Men’s Health Forum here, a key leading men’s health organisation.
The horrid infectious diseases of the past have all but been eradicated with a minority of people now dying of such diseases. This is mainly because of medical advancement but also because greater work conditions and rights for all. Men in 2014 may not be laying down asbestos, or working down unsafe mines or in unsafe and dangerous mills; but the rise of health/lifestyle disorders across both Men and Women have risen sharply since post 2nd world war. However, a quick search in pub med and government statistics you will find that health/lifestyle disorders (outcomes) such as obesity, type-II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease have significantly increased in men. Coupled with the increasingly mental health issues such as teenage/middle-age suicide (including attempts), anorexia and bulimia in men, the picture is worrying.
What is of concern most of all is many men fail or even not willing to identify or find effective treatment because they do not seek the help of health services, particularly those from highly deprived communities. And what is concerning is that there are whispers in the British media that an upfront family doctor (general practitioner) fee may well be an option to increase funds in the British National Health Service.
Work conducted by myself and colleagues have shown that there is no one-way single minded approach in the promoting of health to men (see further reading). However, once the barriers of macho-musicality and masculine pride are weakened, men ARE willing to speak about health and its vital going forward we acknowledge this.
So on men’s health week you don’t have to go for a run, drink less beer, smoke less cigarettes or check your testicules (would be of great benefit if you actually did!). Health means many things, just pick up the phone to or finding the time to and go see the significant men of your life, fathers, grandfathers, partners, husbands, brothers, friends. Ask the questions how are you? How are things? Are you ok? Or even spending some time with these monumental figures within all our lifes can increase wellbeing, happiness and most of all an appreciation and celebration of being male.
HAPPY MENS HEALTH WEEK
Dan previous blog about men’s health is here.
Research article reference:
Bingham et al (2014). Fit Fans: perspectives of a practitioner and understanding participant health needs within a health promotion programme for older men delivered within an English Premier League Football Club. Soccer and Society, DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2014.920624.