Isn’t it surprising, 70% of Canadian men’s chronic health conditions are caused by lifestyle and not genetics?
There’s a huge gender gap when it comes to health. Compared to women, men just aren’t taking care of themselves.
There’s a kind of social stigma about men showing their emotions or talking about their level of anxiety. Besides social stigma, there’s also this self-stigma that comes from the unconscious ideals that have been from centuries culturally conditioned in young boys.
Men around the world are expected to be strong, self-reliant, in control, and successful earners who are responsible for their family unit.
These so-called ideals of masculinity motivate men to live up to societal expectations, however, they can reduce their capacity to acknowledge their own health issues- mental, emotional or physical, resulting in burnout.
Characterised by three dimensions
- Energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job
- A sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment
Burnout is a result of ‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. It’s not caused more by inhuman expectations than by human frailty.
It’s likely that you or someone you know at work is feeling the pressure of it. It needs to be normalized and worked upon by addressing burnout and promoting a culture of wellness.
Here are 7 actions you as an employer or a co-worker can take to support men and reduce the stigma around talking about men’s health and wellbeing.
1. Get everyone moving
Sitting behind a desk most of the time is not good for your physical or your mental health. Start a well-being initiative at your workplace. Fix a 10-minute time slot during the day for mild exercises. You can also offer your employees a subsidised gym membership and connect them to interactive well-being apps that help them navigate their health and well-being.
2. Encourage health screens
As a part of the benefits package, encourage health screens for men. This could include monitoring blood pressure, prostate and testicular cancer screenings, cardiovascular health as well as mental health assessments.
3. Train and educate line managers
Educate your managers on supporting men’s health and well-being. This may enable them to spot signs of poor mental and physical well-being. Make sure your managers are empathetic and aware of the resources they can signpost their employees.
4. Hold conversations around well-being
Ensure your employees know that your organization is concerned about their health and well-being. Let them know they can openly speak at work if they have health concerns. Develop a culture where health and well-being are given priority.
5. Encourage timely breaks
Sit up, stand, walk, move around, deep breathe, meditate. Move away from your machine or work desk for a good 5-10 minutes every 2-3 hours. These small breaks can help you reduce your stress.
6. Create stress-free zones
Designate a space as a break room with comfortable seating, relaxing music, a few greens around and a game zone to take your mind off work. Promote it as a stress-free room where the employees can just chill.
7. Support each other
As a man, you need to normalize talking about anxiety or stress or any health issue. Be empathetic towards yourself and your co-workers. Help your management to promote wellness at work by creating a culture of well-being.
Want to learn more about promoting wellness and preventing burnout? Check out our blogs related to men’s health or find a provider who can help you address your questions about men’s health in the workplace.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog or in any linked material is not intended and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For holistic health advice and consultation, visit https://www.mywellself.ca/.