Wellness tip: Making men’s health a priority

The pursuit of health and wellness doesn’t need to be “every man for himself.” Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference for mens’ health.

June is Men’s Health Month in the United States, serving as an important opportunity to highlight the health risks unique to men and ways in which they can be addressed through simple, everyday actions and a little intention.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, men are more likely than women to smoke, drink alcohol in excess, make risky or unhealthy life choices, and procrastinate routine or situational medical care1. These likelihoods are in part responsible for the 13.8% of American men ages 18 and over who are considered “in fair or poor health,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)2.

More specifically, studies have shown 30.9% of men had consumed five or more drinks in a single day at least once in the previous 12 months, and 13.2% currently smoke cigarettes. Obesity and hypertension rates among US men are also high at 41.6% and 50.5%, respectively2.

A 2017 study on mortality in the United States revealed men die five years earlier than women on average3. According to the CDC, the leading causes of death for men are heart disease (similarly to women), cancer, and unintentional injuries resulting from accidents2.

Luckily, these risks are relatively easy to assuage for men who take their health and wellbeing into their own hands. This includes actions like being mindful about eating more healthfully, regularly moving the body, avoiding smoking or secondhand smoke and limiting alcohol intake, scheduling annual medical exams and getting screened for health issues early on, and taking steps to manage stress, which can contribute to heart and mental health issues, weight gain and high-blood pressure4.

All in all, health and wellness is very much a reciprocal process — you get out of it what you put in. Implementing small changes, like the ones above, is a great way for men to start prioritizing their own health and wellbeing, and to inspire other men around them to follow suit.


[1] US Department of Health and Human Services (2024). “Men: Take Charge of Your Health.” Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Accessed May 14, 2024, from https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/doctor-visits/regular-checkups/men-take-charge-your-health.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Mens Health.” US Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed May 14, 2024, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mens-health.htm.

[3] Murphy, Sherry L. et al. “Mortality in the United States, 2017.” NCHS Data Brief No. 328. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. November 2018. Accessed May 14, 2024, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db328-h.pdf.

[4] US Department of Homeland Security (2023). “June is Men’s Health Month.” Accessed May 14, 2024, from https://www.dhs.gov/employee-resources/news/2023/06/14/june-mens-health-month.