Men in Croydon are being challenged to get to know the numbers important to their health during Men’s Health Week, which runs until 16 June.
They are being encouraged to improve their life chances by finding out the vital statistics needed for them to feel healthier – like blood pressure levels, waist size and the recommended units for alcohol consumption.
Men in the borough can get started by completing a health MOT in five minutes on Croydon Council’s health website at www.JustBeCroydon.org
The MOT tool provides a personalised report at the end to help individuals set achievable goals throughout the year to lose weight, quit smoking, drink less alcohol, exercise more and tackle other unhealthy behaviours.
Face-to-face advice and free health assessments are also offered to residents by visiting a Live Well Advisor based at a local health hub. The service offers continued support for up to a year, with regular meetings throughout this period.
Paul, a Croydon resident, visited a Live Well Advisor for help to get motivated to improve his health and come out of his comfort zone. He liked walking and going swimming and the advisor helped him set SMART goals to have a more structured week, with dedicated time to look for work, to read and swim in the evenings.
Looking for work affected his mood, but Paul appreciated the support provided by the advisor, as having someone to talk to helped him stick to his goals. His confidence improved, which has helped him to secure contracted work. Paul’s earlier triumphs have also empowered him to better deal with stressful situations.
The Men’s Health Forum is concerned that even though men are supposedly obsessed with numbers, when it comes to their own health, there are quite a few they do not know.
Here are some numbers that can make a big difference to men’s health and life expectancy:
• A waist size of 37 inches or above puts men at increased of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
• The normal blood pressure level for a man is 120/80.
• Men should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.
• It is recommended that you eat five portions of fruit and veg a day.
• You should consume a maximum 14 units of alcohol a week.
• Cigarette smokers die 10 years younger on average than non-smokers.
There is more information about men’s health by numbers on the Men’s Health Forum website www.menshealthforum.org.uk/mens-health-week-2019-numbers
“We are calling on men in Croydon to take up the challenge and get to know the vital statistics that can improve their chance of living a long and healthy life. It is estimated that there is up to a 10 year difference in male life expectancy in Croydon between Selsdon and Selhurst areas. We want to see numbers like these greatly reduced. Taking action now by making a few simple lifestyle changes to improve your health can be a life saver.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care