Men should care for health over cars
Tue, 12 Jun 2012 12:52p.m.
By Imogen Crispe
This week is Men’s Health Week and men are being urged to look after themselves as well or better than they look after their cars.
Data from Statistics New Zealand shows one New Zealand man dies every three hours from a preventable illness and New Zealand men live on average four years less than women.
And it is not just physical health which is a problem – mental health is also an issue, as the male suicide rate in New Zealand is three times that of women.
National health information phone line Healthline says research suggests men see seeking help as a sign of weakness and only 37 percent of calls to Healthline are from or about males.
A number of New Zealand athletes and celebrities are supporting Men's Health Week including The Breeze radio host Robert Rakete.
He knows first hand that some men don’t take enough care of themselves and recently realised one male friend cared more about his car than his health.
“He puts more thought and energy into buying a car than into his own health,” says Mr Rakete.
One of the problems is attitude.
“I know people, many years ago, who ignored their health problems,” says Mr Rakete. “The ‘she’ll be right’, that everything will be ok.”
But he thinks cost is also an issue and often men put their family’s health before themselves.
“Times are tight, it comes down to whether to take the kids or themselves to the doctor.”
Mr Rakete is aware of his own health and looks after himself, which is especially important for him because he has asthma.
“If I get a cold it’s going to affect my lungs.”
He says other men need to look after themselves, even if there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong.
“Listen to your body, don’t ignore it. It doesn’t hurt to get a preventative check.”
Mr Rakete says it is worth it.
“All of us want to be around for our kids, our grandkids and if we’re lucky our great-grandkids.”
Pharmacist Kim Kelly from Downtown Radius Pharmacy says men do not take as good care of themselves as women.
“Basically it’s ignoring symptoms and not getting any scans done, but there’s plenty you can do.”
She says men also often have bad health habits – nearly a quarter smoke, 27 percent drink a lot and six out of 10 are overweight.
Ms Kelly says the pharmacy dispenses a lot of heart and diabetes prescriptions to men, many of whom smoke.
“It’s our job to try and encourage them to give up.”
During Men’s Health Week the pharmacy is offering free blood pressure, BMI and zinc level tests as part of a 'Pit Stop' men’s health check, as well as a questionnaire men can do to see how well they are managing their health. People who answer the questionnaire can enter a competition to win a racing car worth $350.
She hopes the week will help remind men to be aware of their health.
“Don’t ignore it. They look after their cars better.”
Ms Kelly says it will pay off.
“If you look after yourself, you’re going to live a lot longer and be a lot happier.”
As part of Men’s Health Week the Cancer Society of New Zealand has launched a new website, getthetools.org.nz which encourages men to protect their health so they can live longer healthier lives. It contains information about many aspects of health, including food and nutrition, mental health and cancer.
Men can also visit menshealthweek.co.nz to take a quiz to find out how healthy they are. The lower the score, the healthier you are.
Other supporters of the week include Blues player Benson Stanley, Olympic athlete Steven Ferguson, former All Black Bull Allen, The Rock’s Jason Mac and Duncan Heyde and world-record holder Jamie Fitzgerald.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
13/06/2012 11:52:44 a.m.
The Healthline phone number is 0800 611 116 if Men would like free advice from a health professional on if thier issue needs medical attention.
12/06/2012 1:52:09 p.m.
Why is it women seem to have so many botched up surgeries, its not safe going to the doctor. Anyway, men are dying 5 years younger than women and theres a lot less to live on, whats left for the childless in unmarried?
A visiting researcher says New Zealand needs to do more to h...
Cadbury is changing the shape and the size of its Dairy Milk...
A 15-year-old school student has developed a new test that c...
Tourists in Christchurch are being kicked out of the interna...
It's being described as one of the most exciting development...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.