Men’s Health: Let’s stop continued early deaths

Men fishing


Australian men are being urged to loosen their neck ties, shrug off their work vests and get their blood pumping by heading back to nature with their friends and family as part of Men’s Health Week 2012.

Men’s Health Week starts on June 11 with the theme ‘environMENts’ to draw attention to the link between modern men and the world, both natural and man-made, and how this contributes to the fact that Australian men still die on average five years earlier than women.

“Being a healthy man in Australia has more to do with just exercising and eating the right food, it is about having secure, safe work, access to effective healthcare and taking part in fulfilling activities with friends and family,” says Professor John Macdonald, Director of the Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre at the University of Western Sydney.

“The top five causes of death in men are heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, respiratory disease and suicide.  These illnesses don’t simply come out of the blue, they are the product of lifelong interactions across all our life environments, and it’s clear men’s life environments are a major concern.”

Professor Macdonald says while people make important decisions that will impact their health, many men are exposed to compromised envi­­ronments that act against their wellbeing, such as physically demanding jobs, shift work and long commutes.

“We cannot hope to solve end-stage health issues without considering the social, environmental and life factors on health and wellbeing,” Professor Macdonald says.

“That’s why this year we’re encouraging Australian men and boys to take part in outdoor, fun and rewarding activities that they enjoy because it’s a great way to tick several health boxes at once.”

“Whether you like footy, gardening, cycling or just going for a walk, you can reduce stress, make new friends, improve your mental and physical wellbeing and connect with your kids all at once. It gives us a chance to look at the other factors which affect our health, like work, commuting etc to see if we are able to adjust these  to the benefit of our health”.

“We hope it’s the start of a new journey for Australian men where they take the time to pursue their hobbies, reengage with nature and seek out improved work and home environments to better protect their health.”

Over 100 different Men’s Health Week events are being held across Australia, an all-time high that clearly shows the level of concern and interest about male health.

Please visit for full details of all events during Men’s Health Week.  Men’s Health Week is delivered by the University of Western Sydney with core funding by the NSW Ministry of Health.


12 June 2012 

Read the story in the Herald Sun

Contact: Mark Smith, Media Officer