21 Jun GUEST BLOG: Focus On: Men’s Health Week, June 2021
Taking the Time to Carry On the Conversation
Despite being halfway through 2021, society still tends to hang on to the long-held belief that men are tough and can take care of themselves.
It’s been a well-known fact for decades that women live longer than men, and the numbers back this up.
An Australian boy born in 2010 has a life expectancy of 78 years, while a girl born at the same time has a life expectancy of 82.3 years.
From the get-go, boys tend to be more accident-prone than girls. This continues into adulthood as men 10 to die earlier than women, be it from illness, accident, or suicide. Men are 4 times more likely to take their own lives than women.
In Australia, we just celebrated Men’s Health Week, which was created to ask:
- Which factors in males’ environments contribute to the status of male health?
- What can be done to create positive environments in the lives of men and boys?
With the majority of tradies being men- and 60% of all work-related accidents happening to tradies- it’s crucial to continue the conversation about safety and health, particularly when it comes to males.
As mentioned above, suicide rates are higher among men than women, but even more confronting is that tradies are 70% more likely to take their own lives than men who work behind a desk.
This means that an Aussie tradie takes his life every second day.
While having a healthy body is vital for the profession, the above stats prove that a healthy mind is far more essential.
Here are some tips to boost your serotonin:
Get Outside and Move Your Body
Inactive men are 60% more like to suffer from depression than men who exercise regularly. While it can be challenging to find the time when working long hours, or if you’re not into sports or exercise, it’s been proven that even 10-20 mins of movement a day can improve your emotional well-being.
- Take over the dog-walking duties, if you have one. If your pup relies on you, you’ll be less likely to brush it off after a long, hard day.
- Try parking further away from the site, office, or public transport. The minutes of walking in the fresh air will add up.
- You may be exhausted at lunch or after work but take a few minutes to take a walk around the block. If you have kids, get them onto their bikes after work and on the weekends to spend some time soaking up the vitamin D and bonding with your children.
Spend Some Time With Your Mates
Depression and other mental health issues can be very isolating, especially for men. 85% of Aussie men struggle to find or make the time to catch up. Think about joining an online social group for men, looking up your local Men’s Shed, or going for a drink with one of your partner’s friends’ husbands or boyfriends.
Reach Out and Ask For Help
Men, especially tradies, still tend to struggle to admit that they have any kind of vulnerability, resulting in high suicide rates due to the constant mental and physical pressure they face at work.
Thankfully, there are organisations to support men’s mental health. These trained volunteers and professionals will do everything possible to help men who are struggling with mental health. Here are a few that you can reach out to 24/7:
Call: 13 11 14
Call: 1300 659 467
Call: 1300 78 99 78
As a tradie, you’re well aware of the physical risks that come with your chosen profession.
While it’s impossible to eliminate all dangers on the job site entirely, there are ways to reduce the risk of injury.
Since safety is our game, this is something we’ve spoken about before and will continue to talk about. If you missed out on our riveting blog on spinal health, check that out here.
Tradies are 3 times more likely to be injured at work than people in less physical vocations. Joint and ligament injuries happen most often, but back injury, wounds and lacerations, and fractures are also common.
Here, we’ll talk more about how to prevent being hurt on one of the most dangerous jobs you can do.
Eat, Sleep, and Be Merry
- When you’re sick, there is a massive emphasis on sleeping to speed up healing, but did you know it can also help you avoid accidents?
It’s logical when you think about it. Being well-rested helps you stay alert, assists with concentration, and have multiple long term benefits like reducing stress, lowers your risk of illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, and helps with maintaining a healthy weight.
Speaking of which…
- Eating well while on the job can be tricky but taking the time to pack and eat a healthy lunch is vital for your health.
While you may want to go off with your mates to eat cholesterol-laden pies with sauce, consider opting for healthy leftovers or wholegrain sandwiches that include lean meats and veggies.
Instead of Coke or coffee all day, opt for water to keep hydrated and healthy (hey, if it’s good enough for Cristiano Ronaldo).
- As mentioned above, there is a known link between a healthy mind and a healthy body, so spending time on your mental health will encourage the body to follow suit. You’ll get sick less often (let’s face it, you don’t need the downtime), get over illness faster, and may even increase your longevity.
As you’ve seen in the section above, mental illness seriously affects tradies, so be sure to look after your mind so your body can follow suit.
Keep Your Equipment Healthy Too
Mind, body, soul- and your tools too.
Seriously, no matter how it sounds, you should be ensuring the tools you and your staff work with every day are clean, safe, and up to date on a regular basis.
This is something we covered in our New Year blog, but it’s worth reiterating because, 6 months on, it’s easy to become complacent.
The tools you work with become an extension of yourself, so just as you’d never neglect to clean your clothes and body, keeping your equipment clean is a basic standard. Along with that is ensuring all equipment is working the way it should be.
Look After Your Staff
As the boss, taking the time to make sure that your workers are healthy and happy is an investment that’s well worth making.
Whether you’re checking in and encouraging good mental health, incentivising exercise outside of work, or providing the best, most up to date safety equipment possible, looking after the people that work for you is vital.
Not only is it good for them and their mental health for you to show that you value them and the contribution they make to your business but an engaged, caring boss helps to improve productivity and accuracy. Your staff turnover will be lower and the quality of work higher when your staff knows you appreciate them.
OHS Compliance Solutions is committed to supporting you as you support your team. For more information on safety procedures to keep your staff safe, contact [email protected]