An Australian idea of using large sheds as meeting places for men who may otherwise spend a great deal of time alone is slowly catching on in the UK.
The ‘Men’s Shed’ programme, originating in Australia, promotes building community sheds in which men can relax, socialise, and even discuss health problems. The scheme already has more than 20 communal sheds in place across the UK.
Could a humble garden shed improve men's health?
A recent report in the British Medical Journal emphasised the health benefits of male-focused activities outside work.
Writing in this week’s BMJ, Professor Alan White from Leeds Metropolitan University says separate strategies are urgently needed to target men, and believes there is a need for a visible, integrated focus on boys.
Professor White, the world’s first professor of men’s health, said: "Men find doing things relaxing and that in itself is good for their health."
"There's a sense of achievement that men get from starting a task and seeing it through to completion. It's good for self-esteem."
Although the Men's Shed programme offers relaxation and a social focus for men, it is probably not going to solve the wide discrepency between male and female health.
Professor White recently presented to the European Commission a report highlighting the differences in life expectancy between men and women.
He and co-authors found that in 2007 there were more than 630,000 deaths among men between the ages of 15 and 64 compared to 300,000 female deaths in the same age bracket.
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011