Listen Up: The Silent Crisis in Men's Health

14 June 2018
Competitive swimmer on the starting blocks waiting for the heat to begin

June is Men's Health Month. Take Control of your health. The Y can help.


It’s common knowledge that women tend to live longer than men. But over the last 100 years, the life expectancy gender gap has grown from 1 year to 5 years, with men living an average 76 years while women are living to be 81. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men have higher death rates than women across almost every major cause, especially heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, diabetes, and suicide. But why? A non-profit organization established to expand awareness about men’s health issues and advocate for healthy living among men, boys, and their families, the Men’s Health Network seeks to answer this question to the silent crisis. Their research found six primary reasons for the life expectancy gender gap:


  1. A higher percentage of men have no healthcare coverage
  2. Men are less likely to visit a doctor for preventative care, making half as many office visits than women
  3. Men tend to hold occupations that place them at greater risk than women, such as mining, fire fighting, construction, and fishing
  4. In general, boys and men are not encouraged to pursue healthy behaviors
  5. Scientific research on male specific diseases is under funded
  6. Men tend to have more risk-taking lifestyles with less healthy behaviors than women


But there is good news. A 2016 survey also conducted by the Men’s Health Network, in collaboration with Chattem Inc and global healthcare leader Sanofi, found that men are becoming more proactive about managing their health than in prior years. Of the men surveyed, 85% want to improve their fitness level, 83% want to improve their energy levels, and 84% want to improve their nutrition.


Since 1994, Congress has formally recognized June as Men’s Health Month to get men talking about the silent crisis impacting their wellness. And the Y is here to help. From complimentary fitness appointments and personal training, to state-of-the-art equipment, diverse classes and wellness programs, your Y can help you take control of your health. Visit your family center to learn more.