Blokes might think they're "10 feet tall and bulletproof", but they need to take responsibility for their health, sporting great Merv Hughes has told the men of the Illawarra.
The former Australian cricketer became an advocate for men's health in the hope that in a country as sports-mad as Australia, his own sporting background would help people pay attention and listen to his message about the importance of health.
"Men notoriously won't worry about their health," Mr Hughes said.
"They'll ignore symptoms, refuse to talk about health issues, and only see a doctor when they're half-dead."
"But for men over 40 particularly, it's important to have regular check-ups. They may think they're fine, but often there's something there that just doesn't show obvious symptoms," he said.
Statistics from Illawarra Shoalhaven Medicare Local show that of males in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region, 59.7 per cent are either obese or overweight; and 56.4 per cent of males engage in high risk alcohol drinking in comparison to 22.6 per cent of females.
The organisation also found that fewer than 9 per cent of men in the local area ate enough vegetables.
Mr Hughes will be speaking in Wollongong tomorrow at a business lunch ahead of the annual "Check-It" men's health event held by health insurance company ahm.
Having consistently been identified as the unhealthier of the two genders, the third annual men's "Check It" event will attract more than 1000 men from around the Illawarra.
The free health screening event is on Saturday from 11am-4pm at the WIN Entertainment Centre.