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Men Are Working Themselves Into An Early Grave

May 2020

Men’s Health Week: June 15-21, 2020

A recent study by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) uncovered 81% of Canadian men find their day-to-day work to be stressful. The implications are worrisome, with 60% of men saying that work affects their ability to get a proper night’s sleep.
High stress and lack of sleep can be quite serious including higher risk of:

  • heart disease;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • obesity;
  • depression and other mental illnesses;
  • low testosterone and erectile dysfunction

 

The CMHF and Intensions Consulting study revealed several other unhealthy work habits among men:

  • 47% skip a meal while at work at least one day a week / 17% skip meals 3 or more days a week;
  • 22% eat unhealthy snacks 3 or more days a week;
  • 61% skip breaks at least one day a week / 29% skip breaks 3 or more days a week

“The problem is many men don’t realize they’re being unhealthy,” says Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Chair of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation. “and that small changes to their work lifestyle can have big benefits to their health.”


Small changes = Big Impact
Wayne Hartrick, President of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, says “we have identified many small behaviours that men can adopt during the workday that will accumulate long term health benefits; 
Some of the tips Hartrick suggests, include:

  • Stand while taking calls, stand during meetings;
  • Go for walking meetings, even around the office floor or lobby;
  • Give your eyes regular 3-minute breaks from the computer screen;
  • Don’t drink coffee after 3:00 p.m.;
  • Pack healthy snacks to have at your desk (moving unhealthy snacks 6 ft away reduces consumption by 50%)

 

Work-Life Imbalance
The CMHF study also found that 60% of men will go to work when they are unwell or sick, 46% often work extended hours and 30% work while on vacation to complete work tasks. Hartrick says “These additional hours not only add to their stress, but the decrease in recreational or down-time, also prevent men from having the opportunities to relax and de-stress. We understand the pressures of work cultures but caution guys against taking a ‘hero’s mentality’ approach to work hours that, ironically, decreases their productivity in the long run.”Hartrick also points out that there is some good news in the study results:

  • 71% drink water at work at least three times per day
  • 61% bring a home-prepared meal to work at least three days a week;
  • 45% take a break for work to stretch or walk for five minutes at least three days a week;

“These statistics are in line with our message of ‘don’t change much.’ When men make small changes to their lifestyle, like eating home-cooked meals or taking five-minute walks throughout the day, it amounts to big differences in their health,” he says. The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation website DontChangeMuch.ca offers easy to follow tips to help men and their families live healthier lives.

For Canadian men's health stories, click here.  Be inspired by men like you. 

mens health