DID YOU KNOW? According to the CDC, men are 33% less likely than women to visit a healthcare professional, despite an average life expectancy of five fewer years than women. Additionally, men also represent 94% of all fatalities in the workplace. This June, turn your attention to National Men’s Health Month and focus on spreading awareness, prevention, and education of preventable health issues in men and boys — including the specific risks that men face on the job.
In our society, men are frequently pressured to be self-reliant, strong and thriving from an early age — and, because of this, many avoid any potential for perceived weakness, even pushing their physical or mental health to the limit. With so many stigmas surrounding seeking help, men are four times more likely than women to suffer from mental health issues, including depression and suicide.
From a physical health standpoint, men also have higher rates of heart disease than women and tend to develop heart disease at an earlier age. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S., with about one in four attributed to coronary disease.
Men are also at greater risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes, as well as certain types of cancers.
While these health concerns may seem unrelated to the workplace, the wellbeing of each individual employee makes an impact on a wider scale — from absenteeism to increased healthcare costs to loss of productivity, each affecting a company’s bottom line. So, what can an employer do to encourage healthy habits in individuals?
- Increase Awareness. Awareness and education can be critical in fostering an overall environment of healthy activities in your company. Encourage employees to take advantage of regular checkups, and consider adding biometric screenings as an employee benefit.
- Organize a health fair. Consider holding health fairs for your employees once or twice per year. These can include screenings for hypertension, glucose and lipid panels, and immunizations for illnesses like the flu.
- Plan a walkathon or fundraiser. Organizing a walk, run or other active fundraiser can be a great way to engage employees in better overall health — with the added benefit of raising awareness for specific health causes and events, like National Men’s Health Month.
- Wear blue. Ask employees to wear blue one day (or week) this June to raise awareness and promote increased education on men’s health issues.
Mercy Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine offers a variety of onsite screenings designed to help companies promote an environment of health throughout the workforce. This type of companywide screening event is a great way to promote wellness and health for all employees — and can even increase participation for workers who would otherwise be hesitant to seek out health care.
Source: CDC, U.S. Department of Labor, Vantage Fit