Men's Health in National Spotlight This Week
Many men know their favorite sports team's stats but have no idea about their own vital numbers related to blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), and more. In observance of National Men's Health Week, June 14-20, the Centers for Disease Control and other groups are encouraging males everywhere to know and understand such numbers, which can provide a glimpse of their health status and risk for certain diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.
Men can be safer, stronger, and healthier at work, home, and play by taking daily steps and getting care when needed. CDC notes that improving men's health is not limited to the doctor's office or hospital but actually starts at home with individuals and families taking steps to live safer and healthier lives. Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals can and should be consulted for what tests are needed and how often. In the event that some health-status numbers are high or low, the professionals can explain what they mean and make recommendations to help get them to a healthier range.
CDC estimates that, daily, 11,500 private sector workers have a nonfatal work-related injury or illness, and, as a result, more than half require a job transfer, work restrictions, or time away from their jobs. With a goal of drastically lowering that number, the agency offers men the following advice for working safely:
- Know what your job requires.
- Use safety equipment.
- Use and carry tools and equipment properly.
- Select the correct tools and equipment.
- Get proper training.
- Get assistance when needed.
- Take precautions to prevent injury.
- Take breaks and rest when needed.
- Use chemicals and other hazardous substances with care.
Outside of work, in the overall interest of maintaining a healthy existence, men should pay attention to signs and symptoms in general, CDC says. "Discharge. Excessive thirst. Rash or sore. Problems with urination. Shortness of breath. These are only a few of the symptoms that males should pay attention to and see a doctor about if they occur," the agency notes. "It could be a symptom for a sexually transmitted disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or other conditions or diseases. If you have symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away. Keep in mind that a physical exam, screening, or test may be needed to correctly diagnosis and treat a problem. Also, some diseases and conditions do not have symptoms. That's why it's important to get regular check-ups.
Another simple-to-understand but not always easy-to-achieve directive for good health: Get enough sleep. CDC says insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. "Moreover," the agency says, "insufficient sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents, causing substantial injury and disability each year. In short, drowsy driving can be as dangerous -- and preventable -- as driving while intoxicated. Adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night according to the National Sleep Foundation."
For more insight about men's health --and tools designed to encourage it -- visit www.cdc.gov/features/healthymen/.