It’s an unwritten rule. If you’ve got a problem and you’re a man, don’t ask for help, just suck it up. Men are more likely to put off getting help for health issues, as many think they are supposed to be tough, self-reliant, and manage pain. Compared to women, they are also more reluctant to openly discuss health issues, coupled with an ‘it’ll be alright’ male attitude.
Do you, as an employer and HR manager, know the effect poor health has on your male workforce and the impact on their productivity?
A recent study conducted by Wesley Corporate on health in the Australian workplace has found that the average worker has almost three health ‘risks’ meaning they are more likely to suffer from cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, poor nutrition, inactivity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression. These risk factors are all linked to increased absenteeism, and decreased productivity, up to seven per cent costing the Australian economy more than $34 billion in lost productivity per year.
There are numerous reasons for the poor state of men’s health in Australia and around the world, but the main one is lack of awareness of the health issues they face.
You can help make a difference to the health of your male’s workforce by simply making your corporate wellness programs more ‘men-friendly’.
We’ve recently surveyed our database of clients asking them which Health & Safety events they are currently participating in or would be willing to participate in and, not surprisingly, Movember was at the top of the list. So it seems that Australian companies are ready to invest in the health and wellbeing of their male population. In addition, the National Male Health Policy was introduced by the Department of Health and Ageing in 2010. One of the six priority areas for action is a focus on preventive health for males. This priority encourages you as an employer to:
1. Organise health checks, health seminars, and corporate health programs with a focus on men’s health issues. Health checks in the workplace are an important means of raising awareness about health issues and reducing barriers to access by bringing health checks to males.
2. Offer Health promotion materials targeting men’s health, such as men’s health booklet, men’s health checks list magnet, or online health newsletter for men.
3. Encourage Movember fund-raising activities. There are many benefits participating in Movember can bring to your organisation, from team building and moral boosting to improving the understanding of the health risks men face and getting them to take action. Go to www.movember.com to get involved.
Even though new research shows that men are becoming concerned about their health and are doing more to improve it, the vital message to get out remains the same: men’s health and wellbeing matter as Men are more likely than women to smoke, be overweight, have high blood pressure and be less active after the age of 35. With the right information, men’s health seminars, men-friendly health and wellbeing programs, and a willingness to make a few changes, men can maintain a healthy life, and boost your company productivity.
For more information on Corporate Health Program, contact Healthworks on 1300 90 10 90 (International: IDD 61-2-9954-1888) or contact us.