A Cleveland Clinic survey in 2019 found that 82% of men report trying to stay healthy and live longer for those who rely on them, yet only 50% engage in preventive care. In addition, while Americans are living longer than ever, American men still aren’t living as long as American women, according to Healthinaging.org. The average life expectancy for men in the U.S. is now roughly 75 years, but for women, it’s more than 80. This June the Thumb Community Health Partnership (TCHP) is partnering with local healthcare systems to raise awareness about Men’s Health.

Research suggests that a leading cause for the difference between women’s and men’s longevity is that men often don’t take care of themselves as well as women do. For example, women are more likely to have a regular healthcare provider and see their provider within the course of the year. Men are also more likely to engage in “risky” behaviors – like smoking and drinking heavily – than women (Healthinaging.org). It makes sense that by taking better care of themselves, men can increase their odds of living healthier, longer lives.

Here are some practical steps that men can take to maintain good physical and mental health throughout their lives:

•See your healthcare provider for an annual checkup, even if you’re feeling well. At these checkups, screenings such as blood pressure checks, screenings for depression and anxiety, prostate evaluations and lab work to check for chronic diseases can be completed.

•Call your healthcare provider when you’re feeling sick; prompt medical care can make a significant difference in your recovery from an illness.

•Take medication and supplements only as directed.

•Don’t smoke, or quit if you do. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW for help.

•Eat right, and exercise your body as well as your brain.

•Stay socially connected. Spending time and doing things with other people can help keep you mentally, physically and emotionally fit. It can also give your brain a boost and lift your mood!

For more information about the importance of men’s health, both physical and mental, check out the TCHP Facebook page, visit www.thumbhealth.org or email tchpmore@gmail.com.

—Kari White, Program Coordinator,
Thumb Community Health Partnership