Movember and Men’s Health – An Allied Health Perspective

So you blinked and suddenly it’s November! That means it’s Movember time again, where we notice more and more men sporting (often questionable) facial hair in support of men’s health. Now you might not think much of men’s health as a topic, it hasn’t traditionally gotten much air time. And, even as a health practitioner, I didn’t think too much about it before I sat down to write this article.

It would seem that the stereotype of men not talking about their health and feelings, still holds true, even as we approach the close of 2019! But having looked at the facts, the weight of reality really drove home that we really need to catch up with the times, because men are still dying younger than women. While life expectancy for men in Australia has gone up to 79.1 years, that is still 6 years younger than our female counterparts.

What are the stats on Australian Men’s Health?

  • 4 in 5 people who die of heart disease before age 65 are men.
  • 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer before age 85.
  • Nearly a third of these men (31.6%) will die from their cancer each year.
  • The same is true for about a quarter of women (25.9%).
  • On average suicide kills 8 Australians a day – 6 men, 2 women.
  • 3 in 4 suicides are men.
  • 3 in 4 road deaths are men.
  • 93% of workplace deaths are men.

Given how readily available healthcare is in Australia, you would think the gender health divide would be smaller. Here are some more interesting facts about us ‘blokes’:

  • Men are less likely to seek medical care than women.
  • They tend to only do so when their illness has advanced to the point of preventing daily activities.
  • They are less likely to seek help for emotional issues like depression or anxiety.
  • They are more likely to self-medicate with alcohol and other drugs.

Movember

The Movember campaign focuses on three of the major health concerns for men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health disorders and suicide. The campaign funds over 1,250 projects including research and training programs targeting the health issues facing boys and men. Awareness and education is still the key in combating the closed nature of ‘masculine’ culture. Promoting positive attitudes towards health and well-being helps erode current male attitudes towards health.

Health problems are multifaceted and complex, and they often take a team of health professionals to manage and treat. Here at Melbourne Osteohealth we have a team of skilled and experienced Osteopaths and Exercise Physiologists who can help you treat and manage a whole range of physical and mental health challenges. We also run the Inner North Allied Health and Medical Network to ensure we can help you find, connect and coordinate with any other health care providers you might need.

Exercise is a key component to good health and mental health

  • Exercise promotes the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, like endorphins and serotonin.
  • It helps you sleep better so you rest fully at night and feel more energised during the day.
  • Gives you a sense of accomplishment as your fitness improves and you start achieving your goals.
  • Exercise is often a shared activity with others so you get the added benefits of social connection.

Regardless of your current state of health, our team can help you achieve your physical activity goals and improve your health. Exercise Physiology is an excellent form of prehabilitation (before treatment) and rehabilitation (after treatment) for a wide range of illnesses, injuries, surgeries and even cancers.

Some excellent work done by Australian researchers has shown exercise in cancer patients can:

  • Reverse muscle loss
  • Reverse bone mineral density loss
  • Improve energy levels

If you are having any health concerns and think you may benefit from Osteopathy, Exercise Physiology or Massage feel free to call us on 8370 3044 to learn more.

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