Men’s Health Week 2023 – A Focus on Healthy Habits

Men’s Health Week is an annual campaign that runs from the 13th to the 19th of June, and each year focuses on a different topic in an effort to provoke thought and discussion about what can be done to improve male health.

Men’s Health Week was first observed in 1994 as an initiative enacted by the US Congress but has since evolved and is now recognised on a global scale; with the USA, UK, most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Africa all recognising the significance of the event.

In Australia, Men’s Health Week is overseen by the Centre for Male Health at Western Sydney University.

Why is Recognition of Men's Health Important?

Studies show that in Australia, men are far less likely to reach out to a medical professional when facing physical or mental health issues. Men are also less likely to engage or rely on their social networks for support. Furthermore, the health of the average male is, generally speaking, poorer than that of woman in terms of life expectancy, serious accidents, cancer, heart disease, workplace fatalities, learning difficulties and suicides.

Men's Health - By the Numbers

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) publishes regular statistics on the health of Australian males and females. Below are a number of statistics drawn from the AIHW’s most recent reports, highlighting areas of concern for men’s health.

1. Men and boys account for 3 in 5 avoidable deaths
More than 6 out of 10 (roughly 62%) of people who die prematurely in Australia are male. In major cities, 50% of those premature male deaths are potentially avoidable, compared with remote areas where 64% of male deaths are potentially avoidable.

2. Men and boys experience a greater burden of disease
The ‘burden of disease’ is a measure that quantifies the health impact of disease on a population in any given year – both from dying early, or from living with disease and injury. Since 2011, males in Australia experienced a greater share of the total disease burden (54%) than females.

3. The rate of death by heart disease is nearly twice as high in men
Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Australians, which is responsible for the deaths of nearly 30 men (29.8) and more than 20 women (22.5) per day. Men are more likely to die from coronary heart disease at a younger age, which translates to the rate of death being nearly twice as high in males than females, when adjusted for differences in the age structure of the populations.

4. 2 in 5 men experience violence in adulthood
Exposure to violence is a known risk factor that may increase the likelihood of poor health. Men are more likely than women to be exposed to violence. More than 1 in 3 women, and more than 2 in 5 men have experienced violence since they turned 15.

5. Suicide is a leading cause of death
While leading causes of death vary by age, as of June 2022 suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 15-24 and 24-44, with 38% and 22% of deaths, respectively, caused by suicide. Overall, men account for 3 in 4 suicides in Australia, with 6 men taking their own lives every day on average.

Sadly, this statistic is on the rise. Between 2011 and 2021, male suicide rates rose by 13%.

Forming Healthy Habits

The theme for Australia’s 2023 Men’s Health Week is Healthy Habits, with five topics forming the basis of the overarching message:

Eat – With nearly 7 in 10 men in Australia being overweight or obese, there is a focus on examining, and improving, men’s relationship with food.

Sleep – Looking at why proper rest is as important as exercise and nutrition, and how not getting enough sleep creates negative flow-on effects.

Drink – 24% of men in Australia recognise themselves as ‘risky drinkers’, and excessive alcohol consumption is known to be a major risk factor for a variety of health problems. This topic aims to focus in on how alcohol impacts men’s health.

Move – What men should know about exercise, its overall positive correlation to physical and mental health, and how being active is essential for a healthy body and mind.

Connect – Why mateship is essential for good health, and a continuing focus on breaking down the stigma of men talking about their feelings.

More Information & Resources

While men’s health becomes a focus during one week in June, many of the above topics are essential for consideration to ensure strong physical and mental health year-round. Through recognition of the challenges men face, we can strive to better identify men’s health needs, and improve men’s health outcomes.

For more information on this year’s Men’s Health Week and its focus on Healthy Habits, please visit the resources below:

Healthy Male – Men’s Health Week 2023
Australian Men’s Health Forum – Know Your Man Facts
Western Sydney University – Centre for Male Health

Authored by:

Photo of Louis Valenti, blog author.

Louis Valenti
Marketing & Communications Leader at Best Practice Software

Share this article: