As 2023 unfolds, the focus on gender-specific support in the workplace is intensifying. With International Men’s Day as a pivotal moment, addressing the unique challenges male employees face regarding mental and physical health is crucial.
In the workplace, this takes on added significance. Men face unique challenges related to mental and physical health, and these can have a profound impact on their overall well-being and job performance.
This article delves into the multifaceted issues surrounding men’s health. It offers actionable strategies for employers to create a more supportive work environment through corporate wellness programs.
From breaking down communication barriers to encouraging regular health checks and promoting work-life balance, we provide a holistic approach to male employee well-being.
Addressing the silence: Men’s mental health struggles
Too often, issues surrounding men are shrugged off, mocking that every day is Men’s Day when, in reality, men are far less likely to talk than female employees. According to a recent study on Male privilege awareness and relational well-being at work, men can play a vital role as allies in the workplace.
It not only supports gender equity but also positively impacts their mental well-being. It also underscores the need for workplaces to build a culture of openness where men feel comfortable discussing their mental health conditions while challenging cemented societal expectations.
The mind-body connection in men
The relationship between mental and physical well-being is especially pronounced among men. Individuals grappling with physical health challenges are often more inclined to seek assistance for mental health issues.
Similarly, the interplay between mental and physical states is complex. For instance, someone dealing with depression may be at a higher risk for developing physical conditions like stroke or diabetes.
Exercise: The natural mood booster
According to an MIT Sloan Management Review, men benefit more from supporting colleagues, which can also be extended to collaborative physical activities. Initiatives like team sports can serve as a dual mental and physical health benefit. Engaging in these activities not only boosts mental health but also fosters a sense of community and teamwork.
Additionally, the positive impact of exercise isn’t limited to mental health. It also offers significant advantages for cardiovascular well-being. Regular physical activity has been shown to improve heart health, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Key statistics on men’s well-being
Understanding men’s unique health challenges is crucial for creating an effective employee well-being scheme. These statistics not only shed light on the pressing issues affecting men but also offer actionable insights for employers. Here are some key data points to consider:
- Men live on average 5 years less than women, highlighting the need for proactive health measures for male employees.
- Climbing 20 stairs can lower the risk of a heart attack by 50%, showing that simple physical activities can significantly impact heart health.
- Inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from mental health issues like depression, suggesting that encouraging physical activity is a powerful mental health solution.
- Men are less likely to schedule preventive medical visits, so regular health checks in the workplace can help bridge this gap.
- Three out of four suicides are accounted for by men, emphasising the need for mental wellbeing support and resources.
- Men are 24% less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year, reinforcing the need for easier access to healthcare services.
- Over 70% of men are considered overweight or obese, making weight management programs a vital part of a well-being scheme.
- Only 30% of a man’s overall health is determined by genetics. In comparison, 70% is controllable through lifestyle, indicating that lifestyle changes can make a significant difference.
- Men are 50% more likely to be admitted to the hospital for preventable conditions, so preventative care can reduce admissions and improve overall health.
- About 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, underlining the importance of regular screenings for early detection and treatment.
The reality behind appearances
Your male employees may appear fine from the outset, but all may not be as it looks. Taking note of your employees will help their wellness and overall health.
Looking at statistics surrounding men in our country, a simple pint on a Friday is not enough. A deeper approach is needed to help your employees understand what it means to look after their overall well-being actively.
5 ways to support your male employees’ well-being
Creating a supportive environment for male employees is about acknowledging their challenges and taking actionable steps to improve their well-being. Here are five ways to make a meaningful impact:
Introduce open lines of communication
Promoting positive psychology in the workplace is the cornerstone of mental well-being and open communication. Fostering a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns can help break mental health stigma.
Consider implementing regular one-on-one check-ins or anonymous surveys to gauge employee well-being. Training managers on handling sensitive topics can also make a significant difference.
Encourage regular health checks
Men are often reluctant to schedule preventive medical visits, which can lead to more serious conditions down the line. Offering on-site health screenings or partnering with local healthcare providers can make it easier for men to take this crucial step. It not only promotes better health but can also reduce absenteeism and healthcare costs for your company.
Incorporate fitness into the workplace
Physical activity is closely linked to both mental and physical health. Introduce initiatives like “Football Friday” or a company-wide step challenge to encourage physical fitness.
You can also offer gym memberships or fitness class discounts as part of your employee benefits package. These initiatives can boost morale and improve overall health.
Promote work-life balance
Overwork and stress can negatively impact anyone’s health. However, a 2023 study on Who Gains Mental Health Benefits from Work Autonomy? reveals that work autonomy can have significant mental health benefits for male employees across different occupational classes.
Therefore, it’s crucial to encourage a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible work hours or additional paid time off.
Provide mental health resources
Given that 3 out of 4 suicides are accounted for by men, providing mental health resources is crucial. Offer workshops on stress management, coping mechanisms, and mindfulness. Providing access to mental health professionals through an Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) can offer further support.
Considering physical and mental health is essential when evaluating men’s well-being. Men live a shorter life than women and are more likely to suffer from certain illnesses. This is partly biological and partly down to the approach men view of their well-being.
Embracing a holistic approach to male employee well-being
A comprehensive approach to male employee well-being improves mental and physical health, leading to a more engaged and productive work environment. Open communication, regular health checks, and work-life balance are key elements that make a meaningful impact.
These initiatives benefit not just individual employees but the entire workforce as well. If you want to elevate your well-being strategies, Zevo Health provides tailored solutions to meet your needs.
If you’re looking to take your employee well-being initiatives to the next level, Zevo Health offers a range of services tailored to meet the unique challenges faced by your workforce. From employee health and well-being training to workplace fitness challenges, we provide the tools to create a healthier, happier, and more productive workplace.
Discover Zevo Health’s corporate wellness initiatives today!