British Columbia

B.C. men healthiest in country but still need work, survey finds

A new nationwide study shows men in B.C., on average, have the healthiest lifestyles among Canadian men.

5.3 per cent of B.C. men considered very healthy by researchers

12.5 per cent of B.C. men have unhealthy cigarette smoking habits, according to the survey. (TanyaLovus/Shutterstock)

While most men in Canada are living their lives in an unhealthy way, those in British Columbia are doing better than others.

That's the finding of a recent survey by the Canadian Men's Health Foundation (CMHF) which asked 2,000 Canadian men between the ages of 19 and 94 to answer questions about their lifestyle.

According to the survey, B.C. is the healthiest province in Canada on average, with 67.5 per cent of men in the province considered unhealthy.

On a national level, 72 per cent of men in the country are unhealthy, according to the study, and only six per cent of men are considered very healthy.

The survey looked at five unhealthy behaviours, including having a poor diet, smoking cigarettes, drinking too much, not exercising enough or not getting regular sleep.

Men who exhibited only one of the unhealthy behaviours were deemed healthy. Men with two unhealthy behaviours were considered borderline and those with three or more of the behaviours were classified as unhealthy.

The rates of unhealthiness were highest in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where nearly four out of five men were found to practice many unhealthy behaviours.

Details of the study's findings include: 

  • 62 per cent of Canadian men have an unhealthy diet.
    • 59 per cent in B.C.
  • 54 per cent of Canadian men under or over sleep.
    • 52 per cent in B.C.
  • 59 per cent of Canadian men do not get 150 minutes of moderate-to-strenuous exercise per week.
    • 46 per cent in B.C.
  • 39 per cent of Canadian men have unhealthy alcohol consumption.
    • 37.4 per cent in B.C.
  • 20 per cent of Canadian men smoke cigarettes.
    • 12.5 per cent in B.C.

The survey was released to kick off Canadian Men's Health Week which runs from Monday until Father's Day, June 17. The week is meant as an opportunity to provide tips for men and their families to live healthier lives.

CMHF chair Dr. Larry Goldenberg said the survey is unusual because it focused on behaviours rather than strictly on something like disease rates.

"We now have a platform to evaluate health behaviours of Canadian men over time," said Goldenberg in a statement.

"I hope other researchers will use this platform to study different populations around the globe and design targeted interventions to engage men to live healthier lifestyles."

With files from On the Coast


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