Tony Attard gets his blood pressure checked in Mary St by medical student Darcy Hinde.
Tony Attard gets his blood pressure checked in Mary St by medical student Darcy Hinde. Craig Warhurst

Get smart about your health, men

GYMPIE men were given the once over in Mary St on Monday but it had nothing to do with women's appreciation for the way they wore their jeans.

A men's health check and promotion event was set up near the city centre stage throughout the day, checking male pedestrians for diabetes, measuring their waistlines and gauging their coping skills as part of Men's Health Week.

Medical students and Queensland Health and Choice employees crewed the "health pit stop" for eight hours in an effort to highlight men's health and their often slack attitude towards it.

Men continued to live, on average, five years less than women and while previous theories cited genetic factors at play, the latest research suggested the average adult man's lack of basic personal health awareness was much more likely to be the key problem.

Urologists were at the forefront of a range of men's health issues, including some of the biggest killers of Australian men, such as kidney, bladder and prostate cancer.

Each year, more than 3000 Australian men died from prostate cancer, and men were twice as likely to develop kidney and bladder cancers.

Mental health was another area where men's attitudes needed some adjustment.

Alarming new data emerged from beyondblue's biennial Depression Monitor survey showing men's attitudes towards depression and anxiety were negative, discriminating and discouraged help seeking.

The national telephone survey showed most men's views on people with depression and anxiety were critical and incorrect. It showed 27% of men wrongly thought people with depression could not hold down responsible jobs and 31% believed people with depression should "just pull themselves together".

For more information on Men's Health Week, visit menshealthmonth.org.

Gympie Times


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