16 June 2017
Just like a car needs a regular service to keep running smoothly, blokes of all ages are being urged to take The Man Test to ensure they are in perfect working order.
The new two-minute 15-question online survey, launched by the Baker Institute and Foundation 49: Men’s Health, gives men an age-appropriate and individualised checklist to take to their GP to kickstart a conversation about their physical and mental health.
Foundation 49 chairman Associate Professor Gary Richardson said the test aimed to help detect small issues before they became significant problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and mental illness.
“The purpose of the quiz is not to give you diagnostic feedback, not to give you a score, but to encourage men to raise certain issues with their health,” Associate Prof Richardson said. “Our aim is to better men’s lives by improving their health.”
Former Olympic swimmer Geoff Huegill, who helped launch the test, said when he worked to lose the 60kg he gained after retiring from swimming, it was due to keeping simple habits that worked.
“When professional athletes retire, it’s like climbing Mt Everest; the focus is on getting to the top but it’s the descent that actually kills a lot of people,” he said.
“When I went through all of these challenges, one of the first things I noticed was I started to become a recluse.
“I started to drink more to numb the pain. I ate more takeaway. It was easy to see a cycle starting.
“Part of my strategy was to get into a routine, and firstly to move a minimum of 30 minutes on a daily basis at a conversational pace.”
Melbourne running coach Chris White, 35, has completed multiple health checks as part of his plan to run 17 marathons this year to raise $17,000 for the Baker Institute’s research into diabetes, and heart and lifestyle-related diseases. He aims to maintain this regular relationship with his doctor after he completes the marathons.
“My advice to others would be; start small, but don’t be scared of having big goals,” Mr White said. “Take little steps and have people around to help you.”