94% of Canadian men report unhealthy behavior
94% of Canadian men have at least one unhealthy behavior that, if modified, could extend their life, a recent study finds1.
Researchers created a health classification model to assess the current health status of men. Two thousand men were included in the study and answered survey questions related to five key behaviours: exercise, diet, smoking, sleep and alcohol intake.
The results of the study were published in the Canadian Urological Association Journal (CUAJ) in April and showed the following:
- More than half of the participating men did not get an optimal amount of sleep,
- Approximately half of the men didn’t get enough exercise,
- Over 60% of the men had an unhealthy diet,
- Approximately 40% of the men overused alcohol, and
- Approximately 20% of the men smoked.
The study also found that men with less education, men with lower incomes, men who are retired and men who live with children and/or extended families engaged in fewer healthy behaviours. The researchers concluded that the study “affirm[ed] the need for targeted lifestyle interventions” for Canadian men.
How can you increase your lifespan?
Eliminating unhealthy behaviours could prevent as much as 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancers in Canadians. You can decrease your risk of disease and possibly increase your lifespan by following the guidelines below:
- Sleep 7 to 9 hours per night.
- Get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week.
- Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day and reduce salt, saturated fat and refined sugars in your diet.
- Quit smoking.
- Limit your alcohol consumption: maximum 10 drinks per week, 3 drinks per occasion (women), 15 drinks per week, 4 drinks per occasion (men).
- Flannigan RK, Oliffe JL, McCreary DR, et al. Composite health behavior classifier as the basis for targeted interventions and global comparisons in men’s health. Can Urol Assoc J. 2019 Apr;13(4):125-132.
- Canada’s Food Guide: food-guide.canada.ca
- Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology: www.csep.ca
Guidelines for physical exercise
- HeretoHelp: www.heretohelp.bc.ca
Mental health and substance use information
- AlbertaQuits: www.albertaquits.ca
Information and support for quitting smoking