Men's health

While targeted towards men, the information on this page might be relevant to some transgender, non-binary and intersex people. We encourage all staff to share the information amongst their family, friends and colleagues.

In the UK, it is reported men die three and a half years younger than women, perhaps because men tend to be less likely to: 

  • adopt healthy behaviours
  • visit a doctor when they feel unwell
  • talk about symptoms of illness
  • talk about thoughts and feelings

Good health begins with prevention and we would encourage you to be proactive so you are as healthy as you can be both physically and mentally.

Mental health

Prior to COVID-19, men's mental health was a cause for concern, with reports of high numbers of suicide and low numbers seeking treatment for depression, anxiety and mental health challenges.

Statistics show one in eight men will experience depression, one in five will experience anxiety at some point in their life and are nearly three times more likely to die by suicide. As we emerge from COVID-19, it has never been more important for us all to talk.

There is the perception that showing your emotions is a weakness and goes against the traditional male stereotype. However, conforming to these expectations is associated with increased distress and poorer mental and physical health.

At LJMU, we want to remove the stigma around talking about mental health and promote 'it's okay not to feel okay'. We appreciate it can be very difficult, but having open conversations can really help you feel supported. With this in mind, we will shortly be launching a men's discussion group, so if you would be interested in joining, please email Liz Cousins.

Reducing stress is one positive action you can take to prevent things becoming more serious, and while a certain level of stress is unavoidable, it does not have to dominate your life. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, you may find it useful to attend a Resilience Session delivered by The LDF.

You can also access our online resources:

Suicide is a major public health risk and rates are increasing, with middle-aged men, gay men, men from BAME backgrounds and those with low incomes being the most high-risk groups. If you or anyone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts and need support there are suicide prevention services and advice available: 

We would encourage everyone to complete this 20-minute online training on how to speak to someone in suicidal crisis.

Cancer awareness

Men are more likely to get cancer and are 32% less likely to seek medical advice about symptoms, but cancer detected earlier is easier to treat. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, testicular cancer and penile cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, making up 26% of all male cancer cases.

You should visit your GP for a check-up regularly and more frequently if you are over 50. If you are concerned about any health issues, seek advice straight away instead of putting it off.

Physical activity

Physical activity and mental health are closely linked, as explored in this article from Conor Heeney, Head of Strength and Conditioning. Regular exercise can help you to feel happier, get fitter and manage stress. Finding something you enjoy, such as sport, walking, running or cycling and building it into your routine will help. If you do it with others you are even more likely to continue. 

A combination of cardio, strength and flexibility training is recommended for men, for at least 30 minutes, several times a week.


Eating healthily provides the nutrients your body needs to grow, repair, fight illness and thrive. Combined with physical exercise, it can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of health complications and diseases.

Research suggests a healthy diet can also play a strong role in preventing a range of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. In order to be more focused and productive at work, take a lunch break away from your desk, prepare meals in advance and if you have to get something on the go, make healthy choices e.g. swap out crisps for fruit, fizzy drinks for water or fruit juice. 

Consuming too much salt and saturated fat and not enough fruit and vegetables is harmful, especially for men, as excess sodium can affect cardiac health and increase blood pressure. High sugar intake leads to obesity, which contributes to a range of serious health issues, including cancer, and coronary heart disease such as high blood pressure, stroke or vascular dementia. It is also fuelling the rise in type 2 diabetes, a condition that men are more at risk of developing. 

Being the right weight is about much more than looking good, it is an essential part of being healthy, and something everyone needs to be concerned with. Use the online NHS BMI calculator to identify if you are in the correct weight range for your age and height.

Smoking, alcohol and drugs

Men are more likely to smoke than women. If you want help to quit smoking, your local stop smoking service Smokefree Liverpool is available to support you, or read how to break the habit.

31% of men drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week - compared to 16% of women - and are more likely to drink to excess. This can be a problem for physical and mental health, as well as cause problems at work. If you would like advice on how to reduce your alcohol intake or support for yourself or family members, visit Alcohol Change UK or read this leaflet.

While it is illegal to consume drugs, you should seek help if you are suffering from addiction. Talk to Frank has information regarding different substances, their effects and risks. Other local services include The Liverpool Community Alcohol Service and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Self-care and relaxation

Taking time out for yourself is crucial to foster a healthy mind and should be part of your daily routine:

  • try mindfulness techniques – watch Dr Peter Malinowski's introduction to mindfulness 
  • improve sleep hygiene – read 'How to get a better night's sleep'
  • self-reflection – we all have strengths and weaknesses, accept yourself for who you are and focus on the future
  • do activities that make you happy and relax you – reading, spending time with family, going for a walk/jog or listening to music.

It is time to raise the profile on men's health issues. At LJMU, we hope to continue to spread awareness, challenge social norms and negative cultures and redefine what it truly means to be a man.

Resources to support mens health

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Staff can use the Vivup EAP service to speak to a trained counsellor 24/7, 365 days a year. To access the support line, call 0330 380 0658 and mention you are LJMU staff or visit the website.