Breaking the Silence on Men’s Health

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mens health week - breaking the scilence on mens health

Here at Slaters, we love to talk all things man, from beer to BBQs, the perfect suit to the perfect burger. But alongside all those manly topics, we want to address something else that we think all men should be chatting about around the pub table…it’s the H-word – HEALTH.

Most of us know a man who isn’t keen to talk about his own health or open up about how they are feeling, whether that be with people they know or the professionals?

The GP Patient Survey reported by the Men’s Health Forum recalls how 34% of men said they would be “embarrassed or ashamed to take time off work for a mental health issue”. Now bear in mind, this is just a fraction of what the survey showed.

The following percentage of men said they wouldn’t take time off work for these potentially life-threatening symptoms:

  • Blood in their urine – 30%
  • An unexpected lump – 40%
  • Chest pain – 42%
  • Feeling down or low – 85%
  • Anxiety – 81%

Although this survey showed one of the key reasons men avoid the GP is to reduce the amount of time they miss at work, it also reported how men feel they would be looked down upon by their employers if they were to open up about a mental health problem.

We think a lot of this also comes down to the fact that men’s health, both mental and physical just isn’t talked about enough, so we’re here to help get the conversation started.

Whether it be mental or physical health, it’s time that men started talking about their health, but also keeping an eye on it too.

Telling close friends and family about a health concern is the second half of the battle, a lot of men are reluctant to check their own body for common signs of concern, even though health professionals recommend you conduct a self-examination monthly. It is also incredibly common that if they do spot something, some men still choose to ignore it.

Everyday Health reported how ‘too few men know the right age to be screened for various health conditions’, which for something so easy to find out, could be putting you at risk.

So many intelligent gents have the attitude that they’re invincible, but unfortunately that just isn’t the case and in fact, the health of males in the UK is actually in a worse than that of the females in many cases.

Here’s a few statistics about male health that may make you have a quick think about your own condition:

  • 67% of men are overweight or obese.
  • 75% of premature deaths from heart disease are male.
  • Middle aged men are twice as likely to have diabetes than women.
  • Men are 67% more likely to die from common cancers than women, apart from breast cancer.

We think these facts and figures are enough to shock any system into action, so lads, what are you going to do about it?

It’s Time to Break the Silence

Apart from stopping being so tight lipped about your health concerns, what else can do you to ensure you’re on top of your own health?

  • Talk Anonymously – The Men’s Health Forum have an open, online chat room for men to anonymously share their health concerns with other males. It’s a place where you can ask a question, share a concern or offer advice without having to put your name to your words, which for many men, is the easiest way to get talking about health.
  • Know Your Own Body – Knowing your own body doesn’t have to involve constantly looking out for changes, but if you know what your ‘normal’ is, then it’s a lot easier to spot when something isn’t right and get it dealt with quickly. Remember what the experts say, a monthly self-examination is ideal for staying on top of your own health.
  • Get a Regular MOT – You get your beloved car a MOT every year, so why not get one for yourself. Annual full health checks are available on the NHS for all adults between the ages of 40-74 in England, so when you get called for one, make sure you go. In Scotland, the Keep Well programme invites adults between the ages of 40-64 living in high deprivation areas to attend health checks.
  • If it isn’t Right, get it Checked – Whatever job you’re in, there’s always time to visit your local GP if you’ve got a health concern. So, if you feel something isn’t quite right, go with your gut instinct and visit the doctors to get peace of mind or the help you need.

We’re not trying to scare you with statistics, or put a dampener on the wonder that is being a man but we just want to make sure that our dapper male customers are around for as long as possible, and in tip top shape while they’re at it.

All the statistic we’ve relayed in this post can be found and read in further detail on the Men’s Health Forum website. Thanks for reading, if you have any of your own health stories to share then please comment below or continue the convo on Twitter.

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