A recent national survey conducted by Cleveland Clinic has revealed a significant disconnect between men’s perception of their health and their actual health habits. While 81% of American men believe they lead a healthy lifestyle, the survey results indicate that their habits and behaviors tell a different story. For instance, nearly half of men do not get yearly physicals, neglect their mental health, and only half of them follow a healthy diet. Additionally, 83% of men have experienced stress in the last six months, and about a quarter of them spend more than five hours per day watching TV.
The survey, which collected responses from 1,000 American males aged 18 and older, was part of Cleveland Clinic’s MENtion It® campaign. This educational campaign aims to address the issue of men often not mentioning their health problems or taking preventative measures to address them. The findings of the survey highlight stress as a common factor among men, with 65% of them being hesitant to seek professional help for mental health concerns such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
Interestingly, the survey also suggests that social media habits may contribute to the reluctance of men to seek help for mental health issues. Men who spend an average of 2.3 hours per day on social media are almost twice as likely to be hesitant to seek professional help. The survey also points out that a significant portion of American men have experienced issues related to sexual health, and yet only two out of five men sought professional help for these problems.
Dr. Georges-Pascal Haber, the chair of the Department of Urology at Cleveland Clinic, emphasizes the impact of lifestyle and habits on a man’s overall health. The survey indicates that a man’s physical, mental, and sexual health are interconnected, and early signs of serious health conditions are often urinary or sexual issues. Therefore, the MENtion It campaign emphasizes the importance of being proactive in maintaining one’s health through regular screenings, vaccinations, and exams to prevent or identify health issues in their curable stages.
Additional survey findings include the dissatisfaction of many men with their weight and their efforts to achieve their goal weight. It also reveals that only about half of men are aware of the negative impacts of their drinking and smoking habits on sexual health. Money/finances were identified as the top stress factor affecting men, and only around half of American men have been screened for common cancers. Lastly, despite the importance of skin self-examination and using sunscreen, a significant majority of men do not perform these preventative measures on a daily basis.
To learn more about men’s health and important preventive steps, visit www.clevelandclinic.org/MENtionIt. The survey was conducted online in partnership with Savanta and involved a nationally representative sample of 1,000 American males aged 18 and older living in the continental United States. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.1 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.