Men’s health needs a WORD
Article by: Dr. Alex Smallwood – Health Management |
Dr. Alex Smallwood – Health Management
June 24, 2022
The pandemic has created an unprecedented public health crisis in the UK, with a significant rise in mental health issues, missed screening appointments and the emergence of long Covid, all taking their toll.
But while the health effects of Covid and lockdown restrictions have been far-reaching, the pandemic has contributed to existing negative trends in men’s health – including less timely and lower levels of engagement with health services .
This year’s Men’s Health Week features the Men’s Health MOT, which highlights the low volumes of prostate cancer diagnosed during the pandemic and encourages men to get a complete and detailed picture of their health status. general health.
This is the perfect opportunity for employers to start a conversation about men’s health in the workplace.
Dr Alex Smallwood, general practitioner and director of clinical transformation at Health Management, said:
“Men are more prone to heart and respiratory problems, which may have been made worse by unhealthy habits during the pandemic, such as reduced exercise or increased alcohol consumption. Traditionally, men have sought help later than women and may ignore warning symptoms longer than they would have before Covid. Diseases affecting men, including testicular cancer, can be cured if treated early, so it’s always worth checking out.
For many, the increase in working from home has led to a more sedentary lifestyle, which may contribute to late detection of problems among male employees, as minor changes in the home may not be equally inconvenient. . In the case of urinary symptoms, going more often could indicate a prostate problem, but at home, this change may not be bothersome enough to seek help. We also know that people who are less active or heavier are at increased risk for many diseases, including bowel cancer, which may only show subtle changes that could be overlooked.
As well as making sure problems are caught early, a health check is an important precaution to make sure you know your body before you start a new exercise regimen. This will reduce the risk of injury or strain and minimize the risks that returning to exercise might bring to light, such as heart disease in people with high cholesterol. These checks are free for anyone over 40 via the NHS.”
Other steps employers can take to support men’s health at work include:
- Consider appointing a male “champion” at work to encourage the use of support
- Encourage senior employees to talk about how they accessed health support
- Encourage GP visits and health check-ups and provide flexibility with time off work to attend
- Direct employees to information and support on men’s health issues, including prostate cancer and testicular cancer
- Review and update existing equality and diversity policies and consider developing a dedicated “men’s health” policy