Men’s Health Month
This June, the Y joins communities across the country in recognizing Men’s Health Month and raising awareness about issues affecting men’s health. For decades, men have had shorter life expectancies than women, with an estimated five year difference. Men have higher mortality rates than women across ten major causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Contributing to the gender disparity is the fact that men are significantly less likely than women to be proactive with their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are 100% more likely to visit their doctor annually for preventative care than men. Without preventative care, disease goes undetected. And as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed Senate Joint Resolution 179, authored by Senator Bob Dole, to designate the week preceding Father’s Day each June as National Men’s Health Week. According to organizers, the goal of Men’s Health Week, and now the expanded Men’s Health Month, is to “heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.” In addition, the events are designed to encourage men to lead healthy lifestyles for themselves and their families. During the approval of the joint resolution by the House of Representatives in 1994, Congressman Bill Richardson emphasized the importance of men’s health to entire families. “Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue, “ says Richardson. “Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.”
For Y member Andy Bailey, taking care of his own health was paramount to his ability to care for his wife who was suffering from cancer. With the Y’s help, Andy lost more than 100 pounds and now serves as a Y coach to help other men, women, and families live healthier, stronger, and happier. Learn more about Andy’s Y journey and how you can help members like him.