Australia provides an array of lifestyles and social outlets that allow us to have an easy go lucky appearance and would appear to be a healthy nation. But how healthy are Australian men? Australian men generally rate themselves as excellent or having a very good health status. But how do they actually measure up in reality?
Just like women, men have mostly the same health concerns that are based or associated with lifestyle behaviours or simply socioeconomic status. Some of the leading health concerns for men in Australia include the below:
- 1 in 8 males were experiencing poverty such as homelessness or unemployment.
- 1 in 2 Australian men are highly physically active. However, men living in the highest socioeconomic areas were the most physically active compared to lower socioeconomic areas.
- 1 in 4 men smoke daily, smoking generally peaked in middle aged men.
- 1 in 2 men are exceeding the single occasion risky drinking guidelines. With an average of 1 in 4 men aged over 18 consuming more than 2 standard drinks a day.
- 1 in 5 Men as young as 14 years were using illicit drugs.
- 2 in 5 men from 15 years old have experienced violence.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among males, followed by melanoma and testicular.
The leading causes of disease to Australian men include cancer, cardiovascular diseases, mental and substance use disorders. With coronary heart disease being the major cause of death. The top chronic conditions Australian men experience include mental and behavioural problems, back problems, arthritis, asthma and diabetes to name a few.
Obesity is a rising issue not only in Australia but worldwide. With it becoming more of a norm, numbers are soaring in associated health risks. 3 in 4 men are overweight or obese, with 3 in 5 of those men having a waist circumference higher than 94 cm which is associated with an increased risk of metabolic risk. Eating habits play a major role in these numbers and statistics show that Australian men do not have the best habits to begin with.
- 1 in 30 men are meeting fruit and vegetable intake guidelines.
- 1 in 3 men drank sugar sweetened drinks at least once a week.
Australian men have a 3 times higher rate of suicide compared to females. 1.6 million Australian men received a prescription for mental health related issues. We tend to hear that men don’t always come forward in speaking about their mental health and the results show. Only 1 in 5 men who were 45 years or older spoke to their GP regarding emotional or psychological health. An awareness for mental health has risen within Australia in the last few years with more resources and support available to those in lower socioeconomic areas and as our day to day life becomes more stressful the demand for assistance is needed.
These few points highlight that Australian men are subject to various health concerns which are influenced by lifestyle needs and social status. There is plenty of information available to understand better or for support for you or our family. As Australia grows and the population increases, it will put more demand on our health and health resources. By starting slowly and following a healthier way of life by incorporating, a colourful plate of wholesome foods, starting the conversation about mental health and an active lifestyle we may be able to reduce the numbers mention above not only for men, but all Australians.