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10 facts about exercise and men's health

We all know that being unfit is bad for our health, but did you know that being physically inactive kills more men each year than prostate cancer or suicide or road traffic accidents?

This is one of 10 key facts about exercise and men's health released by the Know Your Man Facts campaign ahead of Men's Health Week (12-18 June 2023).

The 10 facts listed below form the basis of a new Know Your Man Facts toolkit that includes a range of free resources to help you spark conversations about men's health in your community. The resources include:

  • Social media tiles to share with your community
  • An infographic that you share electronically or print out and display
  • A digital booklet about Exercise + Men's Health
  • Printed copies of the booklet that you can order
  • Presentation slides to help you give a Men's Health Talk

To access these resources see the Know Your Man Facts section of our website.

Fact 1: Physical inactivity kills 10 Australian men a day

This surprising fact comes  from the Australian Burden of Disease Study which found that physical inactivity is the underlying cause of 10 male deaths a day.

Fact 2: More men than women stay healthy by being active

According to the Australian National Health Survey, being active is one of men's strengths, with more men than women staying healthy by meeting the weekly guidelines for physical activity.

Fact 3: Most men aren't active enough to stay healthy

According to the Australian National Health Survey, 70% of men don't meet the weekly guidelines for physical activity and 1 in 8 men don't do any weekly exercise.

Fact 4: Being unfit can be as bad for your health as smoking

According to a report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, low fitness was linked to more deaths than a range of risk factors including smoking and high blood pressure.

Fact 5: Being active keeps your body and mind health

Most people know that exercise keeps our hearts, lungs and muscles strong. Physical activity is also known to be good for our blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, bone strength and our mental health.  

Fact 6: Being active cuts your risk of disease

According to Exercise and Sport Science, being physically active has been show to reduce our risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and dementia. Exercise has also been shown to be as effective at treating depression, as therapy or medication.

Fact 7: Sitting less can help you live longer

According to the Heart Foundation, too much sitting time (sedentary behaviour) is associated with an increased risk of premature death. While getting the right amount of rest is also important for our health, if we sit too much at work or home, sitting less could help us live longer.

Fact 8: A short daily walk can add 3 years to your life

Researchers in the UK found that people with poor health could increase their life expectancy by three years with as little as ten minutes of brisk walking a day.

Fact 9: Push ups can help you beat poor health

Researchers at Harvard found that middle-aged men who could do 40 push ups were significantly less likely to get heart disease in the next 10 years compared to men who couldn’t.

Fact 10: You can help you mates and family stay fit

Some men are really good at staying fit, strong and healthy on their own. You can also get active and helping your mates and family stay fit at the same time. One of the great things about staying active is it can help you connect with your mates and family.

HEALTH WARNING: Doing more of the right type of exercise is good for your health. If you are new to physical activity or have a health concern, check with your doctor first. They can help you decide the best activity for you.


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