Hobsons Bay has banded together in support of Men’s Health Week 2018, the international campaign that aims to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
Occurring in June each year, Men’s Health Week provides a platform for challenging and debating key issues in men’s health and to raise the profile of men, their health outcomes and health needs.
The health status of males in most countries, including Australia, is generally poorer than that of females and unsurprisingly, men are also less frequent visitors to general practitioners.
There is also a perception that men don’t care about health or that services are not well-prepared to interact with men effectively. Men’s Health Week aims to challenge these perceptions, as well as facing the staggering statistics.
More males die at every stage through the life course, more males have accidents, more males take their own lives and more males suffer from lifestyle-related health conditions than females of the same age.
A boy born in Australia in 2010 has a life expectancy of 78.0 years while a baby girl born at the same time could expect to live to 82.3 years old. Right from the start, boys suffer more illness, more accidents and die earlier than their female counterparts.
Setting out to start a conversation about men’s health in Hobsons Bay, it was not long before the statistics around male health prompted discussions on healthy habits and how creating positive environments can contribute to turning the statistics around.
State Member for Williamstown Wade Noonan said it is never too late to get more active and engaged in better health, noting he would be completely lost without his regular morning run with his dog Charley.
“As men we’re often not as attentive towards our health as we should be. My advice to men is find time for regular exercise, eat sensibly, watch your weight and find a doctor who is responsive to your concerns,” Mr Noonan said.
Williamstown Football Club CEO Jason Reddick said he finds motivation through setting a goal that requires training for months in advance, something that helps him maintain focus and look after his health.
“Being healthy is something I used to take for granted, however as I get older, I find that the pressures of work and family erode a lot of the time that I used to dedicate to an active lifestyle. Now I need to plan exercise into my weekly schedule,” Mr Reddick said.
Hobsons Bay Councillor Jonathon Marsden said that as he and his mates got into their forties and tended to put on a bit of weight, they realised they needed to think a bit harder about how to stay fit.
“My most strenuous exercise by far is carrying my baby daughter around, but the way I keep healthy is by riding my bike to the shops and to work. I always feel better after a short ride and I know it’s a kind of lifestyle I can maintain until old age,” Cr Marsden said.