Study's goal to improve men's health

If you're an Illawarra bloke aged between 10 and 55, you may get a knock on your front door sometime over the next few weeks inviting you to join a landmark health study.

The new research, called Ten to Men, is the first large-scale ongoing study in Australia into the health and well-being of the nation's men and boys.

Conducted by the University of Melbourne, researchers are collecting data on male health including general well-being, lifestyle, mental health, diet, exercise, social networks and relationships.

Starting this month, researchers will be knocking on doors in some Wollongong suburbs - randomly selected by the organisers - to invite males to join the study.

Funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health, Ten to Men aims to find out more about the social, economic and lifestyle factors that affect the health and well-being of Australian males at different stages of life.

"A better understanding of the health of Australian males is long overdue," said Professor Dallas English, from the University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health.

"We need to let go of the stereotype of the tough Aussie male and identify the real barriers to men achieving optimal health."

The information collected in the study will help to inform government policy and program development to improve health services and general health for Australian males.

Health statistics show that in many areas, men are worse off than women.

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