Public health minister Anne Milton has given the government's backing to Men's Health Week 2010.
Speaking as the Men's Health Forum launched its campaign to get a million men more active, Anne Milton MP said: 'I'm sure a lot of men will recognise they may no longer be in shape. But it's never too late to get fit again. Cycling, gardening or having a kick-about with your children are all ways to get your heart rate up, burn the calories and get match-fit.'
The one million men challenge is not a randomly chosen figure. Currently, just 40% of men in England and Wales say they are active at the levels recommended by the Chief Medical Officer. And there is a big drop in men’s activity levels after the age of 35.
One million is almost exactly the number of men aged 35-64 who will need to become active again if minimum activity levels in this age group are to rise to the level currently achieved by men aged 16-34. This would mean that about 50% of men aged 35-64 would be active at minimum levels by 2012. About 50% of men aged 16-34 say they meet the recommendations but the levels fall to 44% for 35-44 year olds, 32% for 55-64 year olds and 9% for men aged 75 or over.
Setting the challenge MHF president Dr Ian Banks said: 'After the age of 35, there's a sharp decline in men’s physical activity. Many men say they do not have the time but they also blame poor health or that they simply feel ‘too old’. Unlike women, men tend not be motivated to be active to improve their health, to lose weight or to improve their appearance.
It’s tragic that so many men still die so young from conditions that are preventable. We must develop health messages that men are more likely to respond to, for example by emphasising the short-term pleasurable and rewarding benefits of physical activity not just the longer-term health benefits. We need to demonstrate how even the busiest of men can build activity into their normal daily lives.'
Former World Darts Champion Andy "The Viking" Fordham, right, is one of the many sportsman supporting National Men’s Health Week. Having suffered major health issues himself, he found out the importance of getting active the hard way. He urged his fellow males to heed his warning: 'I didn't realise how unfit or unhealthy I was until it was nearly too late. And like most men I didn't think it was possible to do much about it, but I found you don't have to go mad at the gym you just need a little regular exercise and be more aware of what you eat and how much you are drinking.'
Page created on June 9th, 2010
Page updated on June 9th, 2010