Day 2 of Men’s Health Week and we touched yesterday on a few of the statistics from the picture attached yesterday on our Instagram account – men live on average 4.4 years less than women, and the last 11 years of a man’s life could be spent in poor health.

Let’s not mention age here, but many of you that are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine are probably still ticking along OK, generally active, working hard, chasing kids, and still in that typical male zone where you don’t really even have a GP. But for those of us that qualify for Astra Zeneca, you may well have found that the end of the fourth decade of your life has signified the end of your body as you once knew it! It is like you get out of bed one morning and your shoulder aches, your back is stiff, you’ve put some weight on, you need an excuse to not play back yard footy with the kids because you can’t beat them anymore, and the list goes on.

There are so many critical health messages in this infographic but today I am going to place them all under the banner of “bloke mentality”. Please understand the following is a generalisation, and it is simply my thoughts and observations based on 30 years of physio work, but I think it holds true for many, myself included! When I think about the “bloke mentality”, it is not just that men think something will not happen to them, it’s more the fact many men think they will be OK even if something does actually happen – they’ll deal with it then and it will all turn out OK. I find that women are far more proactive when it comes to health concerns, and men are far more reactive.

The problem with being reactive is that sometimes it is too late. The unlucky ones with cardio vascular disease don’t get a second chance – yet many would have had symptoms, or warnings, or genetic/lifestyle factors that may have led to a far better outcome with a pro active approach.

70% of your overall health is determined by lifestyle!

Changes don’t need to be massive, they just need to be consistent. Small, consistent, targeted changes. Looking at the statistics attached it may be something like:

  • Make an effort to get 30 minutes of exercise in a day, or even most days. It isn’t that hard.
  • Cut out a fatty lunch a week and replace it with a healthy meal replacement.
  • Think about whether you really need that one extra beer; or if you have a drink most nights, start by cutting one night out.
  • At work, 94% of fatalities are men. Be a bit smarter when you can, look out for a mate, don’t accept short cuts, take your time, don’t take that risk thinking “it won’t happen to me”. None of those workplace fatalities would have thought it was going to happen to them!
  • Drive smarter: one of my favourite games in the car with the kids is to count the amount of times we catch up to the speeding driver at the next set of traffic lights. Nearly every red light, there they are the car in front of us. Speed gets you nowhere fast!

My message today to the men out there: life is a gift. For many years we can do whatever we want with our life and our body, and get away with it – and wake up the next day and do it all again! But that’s taking an awfully big risk, hoping you won’t be one of the unlucky ones that doesn’t get a second chance, or that you won’t be one of the statistics above that spends the last 11 years of your life in poor health. Sounds a bit like Russian Roulette to me!

So let’s all get a bit better and change that bloke mentality, put some emphasis on being proactive, make an effort to be a bit healthier and fitter, and get your routine testing done every 12 months (or as your GP recommends). Please don’t wait til it is too late.

Photo adapted from and

Post written by Anthony Lance, Physiotherapist, East Bentleigh