Home' Be : Issue 9 Contents If successful, it could be rolled
out to other states, with the aim of
lowering the social and medical cost
of poor male health, says Dr Manny
Noakes, a senior research scientist at
CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences,
South Australia and a member of the
CQUniversity research team. ese
costs are substantial with obesity alone
estimated to cost about $2.4 billion a
year in treatment, while indirect costs such as lost work
productivity, absenteeism and unemployment add $9
billion, according to the Institute of Health Economics
a nd Technology As sessment.
Other members of the ManUp team keen to
reduce these glum statistics have included:
CQUniversity sta Marcus Ellison of the
Institute for Health and Social Science
Research, Dr Pierre Viljoen, Dr Cor neel
Vandelanotte, Dr Cristina Caperchione and
Dr Mitch Duncan; for mer CQUniversity team
leader Professor Ker ry Mummery, who is now
the Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and
Recreation at the University of Alberta, Canada;
and prominent CSIRO and University of Wester n
Sydney sta .
Research o cer Ellison says they are examining how
websites, mobile phones and other handheld technology
can be used to create an interactive health program for
men. "We anticipate much of that will be challenge-based
because our research shows men are more likely to respond
to something that's inherently challenging."
e goal, he says, is to come up with activities that strike
a balance between being di cult enough for men to think
that they're worthwhile but still achievable for an average
man. "We have also found that there are a lot of men who
only want to improve their personal best, rather than
compete against others."
Consequently both individual and group challenges,
such as workplace-based competitions, will be developed.
" ere is also potential for people to build an online
community involving their real-world friends and complete
challenges in groups or perhaps even set their own
challenges for each other," Ellison says.
e important thing about the ManUp health campaign
is the way it will be framed,
insists Dr Noakes, co-author of the
bestselling CSI O otal Wellbeing iet.
"We want to empower men without
them feeling it is a slight on their
masculinity," she says. "Men don't
like to feel vulnerable and that is
Perfectly understandable but
as statistics show, and the Royal
Australian College of General Practitioners
confirms, a negative in the health stakes. It says
leading both men and boys to risk taking that
includes neglecting their health.
According to Dr
Noakes: "Men do
need to realise that
looking after their
health is important
for themselves and
their family. Our project will focus on
positive things they can do in the here and
now so that the future will look after itself."
While CQUniversity researchers work on a
local solution that may inspire programs Australia-wide,
the federal gover nment is currently putting the finishing
touches to a National Men's Health Policy that will be
released later this year. It is hoped the policy will make the
health system more responsive to men's needs and that it will
support men in taking more care of their own health.
It is important to recognise that there are specific
health problems that disproportionately a ect men, says
Nicola Roxon, the federal Minister for Health and Ageing.
In Australia, men under 75 years are almost three times
more likely to die from coronary heart disease, stroke and
vascular disease than women and they have the second
highest rate of bowel cancer in the world, she says. ey are
also more likely to die younger, with a life expectancy of
78.7 years compared to 83.5 years for women.
In Queensland, Ellison hopes ManUp "will spur a few
blokes on and get them interested in participating in more
exercise and eating better", and that those small steps will
translate into better quality -- and quantity -- of life. ●
MUCH OF THE
ARE MORE LIKELY
TO RESPOND TO
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