Men's Health
Nov 25, 2022

The hidden cost of men's health problems at work

The hidden cost of men's health problems at work
Reading time: 5 mins
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Men see doctors less than women. And yet, it’s men who suffer more illnesses throughout their lives, and more chronic illnesses too. They also fall ill at a younger age.

Throughout their careers, men will take on average 16 days of sick leave per year—two more days per year than women. And while women take sick leave more frequently, men have longer stints of absence.

Your men’s sickness may also affect their productivity, as when they are at work they could be struggling with debilitating symptoms. But you can help reduce their instances of sickness and ease their burden by providing them with much-needed support. So, their issues will impact your business less. And, your men will be healthier and happier too.

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Common men’s health problems

There are several illnesses men experience because of hormones and anatomy, And then there are those they experience more due to their lifestyle choices. But, remember, these issues will also affect some of your trans and non-binary employees. So, it’s important that when you’re addressing any men’s health issues, you’re inclusive in your approach.

Testicular cancer

One in 215 men will have testicular cancer in their lifetime. Furthermore, it’s most common in men between the ages of 30-34.

That means that at least some of your workforce are at risk. However, there are no known prevention measures for testicular cancer. Meaning, you can only encourage your employees to be mindful of its symptoms, and support them should they experience them.

Promote testicular cancer awareness among your workforce during Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. And, all year round, provide articles on the subject, so they know what to look out for. Then, make sure your benefits package includes an easy way to access clinical care, as time is of the essence.

Prostate cancer

Like testicular cancer, there are no preventative measures for prostate cancer. And yet, 1 in 8 men will get it their lifetime, making it the most common form of cancer in men.

The good news is that it’s also one of the most curable forms of cancer. Many go on to live disease-free lives. But, early detection is key.

As such, it’s crucial that you educate your workforce on the symptoms of prostate cancer. And, give them the facts around survival rates with successful treatment too—it might just encourage them to seek help sooner.

Diabetes

Men are at a higher risk of diabetes with less weight gain than women. Furthermore, a woman could have a waist circumference five times that of a man’s before developing diabetes.

Typical symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination in increased amounts
  • Increased urination at night
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and sores that don’t heal
  • Excessive weight loss before diagnosis

However, men with diabetes can also experience erectile dysfunction and genital thrush. They may not associate these with diabetes. And, they may be too embarrassed to seek help, and not get an accurate diagnosis as a result.

Provide educational resources on all the symptoms of diabetes. And encourage your men to seek treatment, should they suspect they have it. Virtual access to booking GP appointments will mean they can start pursuing a diagnosis and treatment sooner.

Coronary heart disease

Four million men around the world live with heart disease. They get it younger than women, and are more likely to die of it too.

The risk of developing heart disease increases if your male employees:

  • smoke
  • have high blood pressure
  • have high cholesterol
  • are physically inactive
  • have diabetes
  • are obese

Encourage the men in your company to make heart-healthy lifestyle choices. Provide support for those who want to quit smoking, eat better, and become more active. Company-wide fitness and health drives are fun ways to do this (and opportunities for fundraising incentives, too). But, you can also provide articles and guides that they can access day-to-day. A good health and wellbeing app, for instance, will stream useful resources for better men’s health. And, it will provide personalised content, so every man gets the information they need to address their specific issues.

Mental health issues

Due to the cultural pressure men experience to act ‘manly’, they are less likely to openly express their feelings. Meaning you might not notice their symptoms. And, they’re less likely than women to seek treatment too.

The results of this can have a snowball effect in men’s lives. To deal with their issues many drink excessively—part of the reason why liver disease is more common among men. They’re also more likely to engage in substance abuse. While this is of course detrimental to their health, it also means their productivity will likely gradually decline, as will their work skills.

In 2021, men accounted for three-quarters of suicides. Moreover, men aged 45-64 have had the highest rate of suicide since 2010. You can support your men’s mental health by holding open discussions about their very common issues and risks. Check in on them regularly—not just about their performance, but their overall health, too. And, in the event they don’t want to talk to you, make sure they have an alternative. Including access to counsellors and helplines in your wellbeing package, for instance, might just be the discreet option they need.

Support your men’s health

Your men make up around half of your workforce. And yet, they experience more health issues, some of them chronic. This can affect both their personal lives and their performance at work. But you can support them so they’re healthier, happier, and more productive.

Symbio is a holistic health and wellbeing solution that will provide your staff with personalised pathways to better health. Through streaming content specific to your men’s concerns, they can get information about the issues affecting them. And, with virtual access to GP appointments and mental health practictioners, they can more easily pursue diagnosis and treatment.

To find out more about how Symbio can help your men and your business, book a demo.

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