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Health and wellbeing advice for employees – Men’s Health

Since it’s widely recognised that men, in general, neglect their health, we thought we’d look at how employers can help male staff be more aware of their health and wellbeing in the workplace and at home.

Are men really neglecting their health?

If you look at the statistics, then it would seem that British men are neglecting their health. 

According to the World Health Organisation, from 1970 to 2010, the gap in life expectancy has gradually widened between men and women.

By 2010, women were outliving men by an average of almost six years.

They're also visiting their GPs a lot less.

A study by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) found that, on average, men visit their GP four times a year in comparison to the six times a year that women go.

Male or female, it’s important to be aware of any changes to your health. If you notice anything unusual, you should see your GP as soon as possible.

Here are some of the main health issues that can specifically affect men.

Know your balls!

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer amongst men aged 20 to 35. Around 2,300 men are diagnosed each year in the UK.

Here are some key things to remember:

  • Examine yourself regularly
  • Look for any lumps or abnormalities
  • Most testicular lumps are not cancer
  • Treatment is more effective when diagnosed early
  • Don’t delay!

Testicular lumps and swellings can have many different causes. In rare cases, they can be a sign of testicular cancer. However, most lumps aren’t cancerous. It’s estimated that less than four in every 100 testicular lumps are testicular cancer.

If you notice any lumps, swellings or changes to your testicles, you should see your GP!

Don’t be prostrate about your prostate

The prostate gland is found only in men. It’s located below the bladder and produces some of the fluid that makes up semen. The gland often enlarges as men get older and in one-third of men aged 50 or over it can cause problems.

When enlarged, it can press on the tube that connects to the bladder, making it hard to pass urine. This is often one of the first signs of prostate disease, including cancer.

Other symptoms include:

  • A need to urinate often, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Straining to urinate or taking a long time to finish
  • Pain when urinating or during sex
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Blood in the urine

Statistics show that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with around 48,500 cases diagnosed every year.

If you have any of the symptoms shown above, you should see your GP!

Defeat depression

While depression is more commonly reported in women, statistics show that men are far more likely to commit suicide.

In 2019 there were 5,691 registered deaths by suicide in the UK, making it the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the country.

This may be because men are more reluctant to seek help.

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a short period of time. It’s a real illness with real effects on work, social and family life.

Everyone goes through spells of feeling down at some point, but when you’re depressed you feel constantly sad for weeks or even months, rather than just a few days.

Unfortunately, there are still stigmas attached to depression. Some people see it as trivial and not a genuine health condition. As a result, they won’t seek medical help.

Many see it as a sign of weakness or something that they can “snap out of” by “pulling themselves together“.

Treatments for depression will usually involve a combination of self-help, talking therapies and drugs. With expert help and the right treatment at the right time, most people can make a full recovery.

If you feel depressed for long periods of time, seek medical advice and don’t bottle up your feelings.

A healthy heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of male death in the UK, with 119,000 men having a heart attack each year.

As we’ve already highlighted in previous blogs cutting down fat and going sugar-free will help to improve your heart-health. Staying active in the workplace and at home will also help.

You only live once - so look after your health, eat healthily and get active.

Our final thoughts

Here are the main points that we would advise any employers to share with their male staff in order to improve their health and wellbeing:

  • Know your own body
  • Check regularly for lumps and bumps
  • Recognise any unusual signs/symptoms
  • Seek medical advice/treatment asap
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop smoking

If you’d like to find out more about how our work health assessments and other occupational health programmes could create a healthier work environment for your staff (male and female), call us today.

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Categories: EmployeesHealth & WellbeingHealth SurveillanceOccupational Health

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