Numbers are all around us. From the fastest lap at last weekend’s Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix to how many Tory leadership candidates are still in the running, to everyday calculations such as working out how much lunch costs.
With the theme for this year’s Men’s Health Week focussing on ‘health by numbers’, it’s vital we all understand the figures associated with physical and mental wellbeing. That way, we can support each other and ourselves.
Here are the top five figures to keep in mind for this year’s week.
One in five
A startling statistic released by Men’s Health Forum is that one in five men pass away before they reach retirement age. Small lifestyle changes can go a long way to addressing this statistic, but as anyone quitting smoking will testify, it’s not always easy.
To help men around the UK make these changes, the Forum has also released an ‘MOT’ guide of health challenges.
It’s recommended you get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise a week. This helps with keeping healthy on the inside as well as on the outside. And it can be anything from going to the gym after work to running outside with the dogs, even getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way.
Or, in my case, tearing around a badminton court for a couple of hours.
Coupled with getting the five portions of fruit or veg a day and watching your diet, exercise is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself physically healthy. And while it’s nice to treat ourselves to a pint at the end of the week, we still need to be mindful of our alcohol intake.
It’s also important to remember to look after ourselves emotionally as well as physically. And it’s concerning that even in 2019, suicide accounts for three quarters (75%) of male deaths in the UK.
Speaking about mental health is not easy. The stereotypes and phrases like ‘man up’ make it even harder. Recently, Time to Change ran a campaign called Ask Twice which challenged the standard response of ‘fine, thanks’ whenever a person asks how we are.
There are two other numbers I feel should also be included for Men’s Health Week this year – 52 and 365. Can you figure out why?
There are, of course, 52 weeks and 365 days in a year. While it’s always great to have a better awareness of our health and put proactive measures in place to look after ourselves, it’s important to follow these steps throughout the rest of the year rather than focusing on just one week out of 52.
This is where the support of friends and loved ones has a major role. If someone close to you is working on the challenges set out in Men’s Health Forum’s MOT guide, offer them encouragement. Better yet, get involved with them yourself so they’re not alone.
By helping each other, we can all take care of ourselves this Men’s Health Week.
By Daniel Burton
Senior PR Account Executive