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ESSA highlights the importance of movement this Men’s Health Week
With the theme for 2019 Men's Health Week in Australia (Monday 10th - Sunday 16th June)) being 'Keeping Boys And Men Healthy', Exercise Right, a public awareness campaign created by Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is highlighting the vital role that movement plays in keeping Australian men healthy.
The lifestyles men lead can influence how healthy they are in the short and long term. 70% of a man’s overall health is controlled by his lifestyle choices, as opposed to genetics. Men have a lower life expectancy than women, with Australian men expected to live 79 years on average, compared to 84 years for women.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Daniel Berkelmans explains “regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body weight and reduce the risk of many chronic conditions and injuries.
“A high level of cardiorespiratory fitness is one of the best predictors of overall health and well-being.”
Despite the benefits, less than half of men aged 18–64 are sufficiently active, and this drops to one in four for men aged over 65. In addition, seven in 10 Australian males are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
But it isn’t just physical health that benefits from regular exercise. Regular movement is vital for maintaining positive mental health, which is especially important in men. Men take their own lives at four times the rate of women, making up an average of six out of every eight suicides every single day, and the number of men who die by suicide in Australia is nearly double the national road toll.
On average, one in eight men will experience depression and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives. However, it’s not all bad news with research repeatedly showing that exercise is an incredibly powerful tool for the prevention and management of mental health conditions.
Berkelmans adds “being physically active has a positive impact on mood, helps to manage stress and anxiety, and can help to reduce your risk of mental illnesses like depression. In fact, inactive men are 60% more likely to experience depression than those who are active.
“Even a small dose of exercise can have a big impact on your mental health. In fact, research shows that just one hour a week can help to prevent depression. Remember; something is better than nothing!”
This Men’s Health Week, Exercise Right is urging Australian men to start prioritising their health and to find time to move.
Visit the Exercise Right website to learn more about the benefits of exercise.
10th May 2019 - ESSA focuses on Active Ageing during Exercise Right Week 2019
3rd September 2017 - Female health concerns released in advance of national Women’s Health Week
6th August 2017 - More than 40,000 women prepare to be part of Women’s Health Week
12th June 2012 - Men’s Health Week aims to stop continued early deaths
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