Men’s health: The silent crisis
Men's health: The silent crisis
Paying the price for less attention to health
Updated on Aug 1, 2014
Simply put, men carry a higher health risk than women. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men are half as likely as women to make doctor visits for preventive services. In addition, men face societal pressures that discourage healthy behaviors, have elevated risks associated with behaviors during youth and are often employed in the most dangerous professions.
While all of these factors are significant, the reluctance to seek preventive care in the form of a physical exam or health screening means men are less likely to prevent the onset of a more serious condition. Translation: a shorter life. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in the 1920s the life expectancy gender gap between a woman and a man was only one year, but by 2007 women were living 5.2 years longer than men.
At BeWell, we recognize that the Stanford community is not immune to national trends. In fact, while 75% of female employees took the Stanford Health and Lifestyle Assessment (SHALA) in 2013, only 49% of male employees completed the survey that same year. As the SHALA is the gateway to our wellness program, these numbers are consistent with the CDC’s statistics that men are less likely to seek preventative health care.
BeWell aims to bridge the gender gap on campus. By reporting on this discrepancy, we hope to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and to encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
We ask our male readers to take the first step towards good health today by logging in to BeWell to take the SHALA. Taking the SHALA unlocks the entire BeWell program and its health and wellness programming. We also encourage men (and women) to download this “Get it Checked” list of suggested checkups and screenings and to schedule a visit with their family doctor.
We also want to make sure our services and classes meet the specific needs of men, boys and their families. We encourage readers to email us (at firstname.lastname@example.org) with any ideas that could help increase male participation in BeWell. After all, men’s health is important. Men are our co-workers, our friends, our husbands, our fathers and our sons. We want to keep them healthy and well.
Know it’s been a long time since you’ve paid attention to your health, but don’t know where to start? Print out this Men’s Health Network questionnaire and make an appointment to discuss the results with your doctor.