Blokepedia piloting new workplace health program designed specifically for men
Australian men have a lower life expectancy, are more likely to be overweight, and experience higher rates of a range of chronic diseases in comparison to women[1,2]. Despite the contributions that unhealthy lifestyle behaviours make to the burden of disease, approximately 50% of men are insufficiently physically active, 97% do not consume the recommended serves of vegetables, and 71% do not consume enough fruit. About 13% of men aged 18 years and over smoke daily, and 26% consume alcohol at levels that exceed the lifetime risk guidelines.
Traditional masculine norms (e.g., stoicism, self-reliance, toughness) have stigmatized help-seeking behaviours[3,4], and further evidence suggests that service providers’ perceptions of masculinity may also hinder men’s willingness to engage with mental health support services. Likewise, men’s engagement with the healthcare system is often suboptimal and characterised by delayed access and shorter consultations. There is an urgent need for innovative, accessible programs designed to engage men for the promotion of physical and mental health.
Adults spend approximately one-third of their waking hours at work, and the workplace has been identified as an appropriate setting for the promotion of health. Given the existing structures and support systems already in place, the workplace may be a suitable environment in which to address the complex interaction between the intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental, and organisational influences on health.
Blokepedia Workplace Health Program
Blokepedia is piloting a workplace health program designed specifically for men. Consisting of a mix of online resources and face-to-face (or webinar) education sessions, the program aims to support teams and individuals to optimise their social, emotional, and physical health. The Blokepedia workplace health program follows a set of three guiding principles:
- Promotes a holistic view of men’s health and wellbeing
- Empowers men to take ownership of their health
- Supports and enables a peer-to-peer learning model
All participants will be given access to the Blokepedia Learning Hub, a growing library of online resources consisting of eLearning courses, regular video content, and exclusive fortnightly webinars with special guests and health professionals. The Learning Hub will provide participants with the tools and supports needed to optimise their individual health. The program will rely on a peer-to-peer learning approach that encourages and supports participation and engagement. Truly holistic in nature, the workplace program will focus on topics including physical and emotional health, dealing with change, social connection, communication, and relationships.
Program evaluation strategy
Blokepedia has partnered with the Western Sydney University for this pilot program. Employees will be asked to contribute to the evaluation of the workplace health program to establish the feasibility and acceptability of the program, and to assist with optimisation for large-scale roll-out. The evaluation comprises two phases – questionnaires and focus groups.
To get involved
We are seeking participation from a diverse range of industries and geographical locations for the pilot program. If you are interested in your workplace participating, please contact Josh Quarmby on 0432 883 005 or firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the expression of interest form below.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2020). Australia’s health snapshots. Australia’s health series no. 17 Cat. no. AUS 232. Canberra: AIHW.
- Department of Health (2019). National men’s health strategy 2020-2030. Department of Health, Canberra.
- Gough, B., & Novikova, I. (2020). Mental health, men and culture: how do sociocultural constructions of masculinities relate to men’s mental health help-seeking behaviour in the WHO European Region?
- Addis ME, Mahalik J. Men, masculinity and the contexts of help seeking Am Psychol. 200358(1):5–14 doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.58.15.
- Courtenay WH. Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men’s well‐being: a theory of gender and health. Soc Sci Med. 2000; 50(10): 1385‐1401
- Wolf J, Prüss-Ustün A, Ivanov I, Mudgal S, Corvalán C, Bos R et al. Preventing disease through a healthier and safer workplace. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.