New study finds 72% of Canadian men have unhealthy lifestyles
New Canadian research released today finds seventy-two percent of men regularly demonstrate two or more unhealthy habits, including a poor diet, smoking cigarettes, problem drinking, not exercising or not getting regular sleep.
The study, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, is the first in the country to study health behaviours rather than diseases, and the first to simultaneously look at five key health behaviours that help prevent chronic disease (diet, sleep, exercise, smoking and drinking). Its release coincides with the first day of Canadian Men’s Health Week, which takes place annually in the week leading up to Father’s Day.
Details of the study findings include:
· 62% of Canadian men have an unhealthy diet;
· 54% of Canadian men under or over sleep;
· 59% of Canadian men do not get 150 minutes of moderate-to-strenuous exercise per week;
· 39% of Canadian men have unhealthy alcohol consumption; and
· 20% of Canadian men smoke cigarettes.
Only 6% of respondents exhibited no unhealthy behaviours and were classified as ‘very healthy.’ Those who exhibited only one unhealthy behaviour were deemed healthy (22%). Men with two unhealthy behaviours were considered borderline (31%) and those with three or more of the above behaviours were classified as unhealthy (42%).
Wayne Hartrick, President of the CMHF, points out that it doesn’t take much for a man to go from the “unhealthy” category to the “healthy” category. “Think of these categories as a ladder. Most Canadian men can move up a rung by changing just one unhealthy behaviour. They can go up two rungs by changing two behaviours, like eating five fist-sized servings of fruit and getting seven hours of sleep. It’s about having the control to veer away from disease versus ‘Oops, I’ve got it, it sucks and why didn’t I prevent it!
Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Chairman of the CMHF, says “We now have a platform to evaluate health behaviours of Canadian men over time. I hope other researchers will use this platform to study different populations around the globe and design targeted interventions to engage men to live healthier lifestyles. After all, 70% of men’s chronic health conditions are caused by lifestyle and, unlike genetics, can be changed to improve your health.”
Hartrick is challenging men: “Visit the website, see where you are on the ‘health ladder’ and move up one rung. Its much easier than you think.”
The CMHF website DontChangeMuch.ca offers easy to follow, medically-backed simple tips and tools to help men and their families live healthier lives.