It’s a fact. Australian men are more likely to get sick from serious health problems than women and mortality from almost every non-sex-specific health problem is higher in men than women. Plus, men visit the doctor less frequently, have shorter visits, and only attend when their illness is in its later stages compared to women. This Movember, we’re asking you just a few quick questions to test your knowledge of men’s health and urge you to make better health choices for you or for the men in your life.
1. Too much weight around the middle is a health risk – but how much is too much? A circumference of over 94cm (90 cm for Asian men) represents a hazardous waist size.
Answer A true
Excess body fat around the middle, called visceral fat, coats the body organs increasing the risk for chronic disease. Australia's Department of Health reports that measuring 102 centimetres or more means a "greatly increased risk".
2, Suicide is more common in men than women.
Answer A True.
In 2020, the AIHW reported males aged between 40–54 accounted for over one quarter (27%) of deaths by suicide by males. If you or anyone you know needs help:
3. More men die of skin cancer than any other.
According to Man Up! Prostate cancer is the most significant cause of death; 3,500 men died from Prostate Cancer in 2020. More than 200,000 men live with prostate cancer in Australia. Queensland has the highest incidence of prostate cancer than any other state in Australia. Prostate cancer may not show any symptoms in its early stages but symptoms can include:
- difficulty in urination
- slow interrupted flow of urine
- frequent passing of urine, including at night
If you are over 50 or have any symptoms, talk to your doctor about testing.
4. Physical stress can cause magnesium loss.
A. True. Physical and stress can cause magnesium loss – but so can mental stress. Studies have linked low magnesium levels to higher rates of depression. Magnesium plays a crucial role in brain function, mood regulation, and stress responses. It may affect the progression and onset of depression and anxiety. Stress has a significant role in chronic illness, including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers – a US study showed that up to 80% of doctor's visits might have a stress-related component.
5. Men should exercise for at least an hour per day.
B False. Adults – including men – should get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most, preferably all, days of the week. Moderate-intensity physical activities include walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, and bicycling. Find one or more things you enjoy, and make them part of each day.
Wishing you a happy and healthy men's health month and beyond!