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  • Writer's pictureBen Harris

A Move to Improve - 8: Men's Health

In Australia we have approx 12 million males (49.7% of the population) but our health status is far different from that of women.


1 in 2 Men aged 18-65 exercise for the recommended weekly amount of 150min each week with exercise on 5 or more days in the week. However, only 1 in 4 Men over 65 years of age reach this same target.

Aim for 5x 30min of exercise each week

Healthy weight:

70% of Males are overweight or obese.

Despite the number in younger males (18-24 years of age) being high at 44%; the numbers skyrocket to 82% of males being overweight or obese in the 54-65 years of age bracket.

By having excess fat individuals increase their risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea and osteoarthritis.

NB: Excess body mass is rated using an index called the BMI (body mass index). This takes into account your weight relative to your height. Although this measure is easy and gives a quick indication towards obesity levels it has been shown to be not as accurate as it once was. Using Body Scanning technology it was found up to 5% more of the population would be placed in the obese rather than overweight category because BMI does not take into account the amount of fat just body weight as a whole.

A waist circumference >94cm increases your risk of chronic conditions

Smoking and Alcohol

14.6% of men still smoke daily - thankfully this is on the decline as it is the single most preventable cause of poor health in Australia

26% of Men are classed as lifetime risky drinkers (>2 standard drinks most days of the week)

49% of Men have taken part in binge drinking (>4 standard drinks in a session)in the last 12 months

Smoking is finally on the decline


1 in 2 Males have a chronic conditions eg. cardio-vascular, diabetes, COPD, asthma

Men account for 54% of the new cancer diagnoses each year

1 in 2 Men will be diagnoses with cancer before their 85th birthday

The most common cancer for males is prostate followed by colorectal, melanoma and lung cancer.

1 in 2 Males will experience mental health issues at some point.

Life Expectancy:

A male born in 2015 is expected to live 80.4 years

If you were 65 in 2015 you can expect to live on average another 9 years disability free then another 10 years with some type of impairment.


Males make up 62% of premature deaths; with up to 61% of those being avoidable.

The leading cause of death for Australian males is heart disease.

Males have 3x the suicide rate as females

Prevention is better than cure:

It is important to have regular checks with your GP. Below are time frames for each check you should have as you age.

Life is too short - don't shorten it but putting off your checks.

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