The week leading up to Father’s Day is Men’s Health Week. In honour of that, a new study released this morning shows that most men in this country are putting their health – and maybe even their lives – at risk for their jobs.
The research conducted by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) found that 81 per cent of Canadian men find their day-to-day work to be stressful. Even more disconcerting, 60 per cent of men say that their work affects their ability to get a proper night’s sleep.
The combination of high stress and a lack of sleep can cause numerous serious health implications. Conditions to watch out for include:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Depression and other mental illnesses
- Low testosterone
The CMHF found several other unhealthy work habits that are also impacting Canadian men. Apparently, we have poor eating habits and limited work/life balance along with our high stress and bad sleep.
The CMHF found that:
- 60% of men work when they are unwell or sick
- 46% often work extended hours
- 30% work while on vacation
- 47% skip a meal while at work at least one day a week
- 17% skip meals 3 or more days a week
- 22% eat unhealthy snacks 3 or more days a week
- 61% skip breaks at least one day a week
- 29% skip breaks 3 or more days a week
“The problem is many men don’t realize they’re being unhealthy,” says Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Chair of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation. “and that small changes to their work lifestyle can have big benefits to their health.”
Fortunately, the CMHF has offered up a list of those small changes we can make for a healthier working life. Here are the behavioural changes that can have a long-term positive impact on your health.
- Stand up while taking calls
- Hold stand up meetings
- Go for walking meetings, even around the office floor or lobby
- Give your eyes regular three-minute breaks from the computer screen
- Don’t drink coffee after 3:00 p.m.
- Pack healthy snacks to have at your desk
- Remove the temptation of unhealthy snacks (apparently moving them even a few meters away reduces consumption by 50 per cent)
- Drink water at work at least three times per day
- Bring a home-prepared meal to work at least three days a week
- Take a break from work to stretch or walk for five minutes at least three days a week
“When men make small changes to their lifestyle, like eating home-cooked meals or taking five-minute walks throughout the day, it amounts to big differences in their health,” said Wayne Hartrick, President of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation.
You can read more about this study, and the ‘Don’t Change Much’ campaign from the CMHF here.