men's health

2 minute read

Why do men have shorter life spans?

By Kirsty Mason | Medically reviewed by Lauren Sien
a series of small white alarm clocks on an orange background

In the UK, the average life expectancy for men is 79 years - a whopping 3 years fewer than women. Why?

Here’s what’s going against us:

  • Lifestyle factors: Men are more likely to engage in risky behaviours, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs. They're also more likely to be overweight or obese. These behaviours can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

  • Genetic factors: There are some genetic factors that may contribute to the shorter life span of men. For example, men are more likely to be born with genetic mutations that can increase the risk of developing certain diseases.

  • Environmental factors: Men are more likely to be exposed to environmental hazards, such as toxins and pollutants. These exposures can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases.

But there’s good news. By taking timely action, men can manage and prevent the threat of disease and ill health. Here are some ways men can take action and increase their potential for longer, fuller lives:

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices: This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.

  • Get enough sleep: Most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

  • Manage stress: Stress can contribute to a number of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression. Healthy ways to manage stress include exercise, relaxation techniques, and spending time in nature.

  • Get regular medical checkups: This is important for detecting and treating any health problems early on.

  • Get involved in your community: Social support can help to improve your health and well-being. Get involved in your community through volunteer work, joining a club or group, or simply spending time with friends and family.

  • Adopt a positive attitude: A positive attitude can help you to live a longer and healthier life. Studies have shown that people with a positive outlook are more likely to live longer and have better overall health.

Taking these measures is a powerful step towards many more years of high-quality health.

The numan take

Men are dying too soon, too often. Yet with the right lifestyle intervention and going hard on early detection and heading off potential health threats, we can harness greater control over our health and live a longer and fuller life.