Canadian Men, Please Get Better Bodies

“Many men,” as 50 Cent once proclaimed, “wish death upon themselves,” as revised to reflect the results of a new study that examined the health of Canadian males.

A recent Canadian Men’s Health Foundation study has found that almost three-quarters of Canadian men (72 per cent) lead unhealthy lifestyles. The factors considered to determine what constitutes “unhealthy” include diet, sleep, exercise, smoking and drinking. Those burdened by at least two of them are considered “unhealthy”

In short, Canadian men participate in smoking in drinking while sitting out the need to eat well or sleep much.

According to the study, 62% of those surveyed have an unhealthy diet. Just over half (54%) lack sleep, while 59% get less than 150 minutes of exercise in a week. Thirty-nine per cent are consuming unhealthy dosages of alcohol, while 20% indulge in smoking.

So, who’s actually doing this #cleanliving you’ve heard so much about on Instagram. As it turns out, not many. Only 6% of respondents were classified as “very healthy,” while 22% display only one unhealthy habit.

A deeper dive into the data reveals that prairie men are doing less for their health than the average Canadian male. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the unhealthiest provinces in the country (78.6% of men are drinkin’, smokin’, and not sleeping or eating well).

But there is hope! “Think of these categories as a ladder. Most Canadian men can move up a rung by changing just one unhealthy behaviour,” said CMHF president Wayne Hartrick. “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!’”

On a related note, Canadian Men’s Health Week kicked off yesterday (June 11th) and runs until the 17th.

“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,” said CMHF chairman Dr. Larry Goldenberg in a media release. “After all, 70% of men’s chronic health conditions are caused by lifestyle and, unlike genetics, can be changed to improve your health.”