As I’ve reached a “certain age,” my body continuously reminds me that I’m not as young as I used to be. In my profession as a military preventive medicine physician, a regular pattern of physical activity is a requirement. Although, like many other men, there are routine screenings that I’ve avoided and nagging problems that I’ve ignored in the hope they’ll just go away! This illustrates why Men’s Health Month is so important. Observed each year during the month of June, this is a time when men and boys are encouraged to be proactive in learning about their bodies and health issues, and urged to implement actions that will improve their health and wellbeing. 

However, despite this annual observance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Center for Health Statistics, of men age 18 and older: 13.8% are in fair or poor health, 30.9% had five or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year, only 28.3% met the 2018 federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity, 13.2% currently smoke cigarettes, 50.5% have hypertension and 41.6% of men aged 20 and older are obese. Furthermore, deaths in men are 1,040.2 per 100,000, compared to 928.9 in women.[1],[2] 
We as men can do better, and it is imperative that we do better for ourselves and each other. It is not enough to watch men’s health commercials on television and pass by the banners festooned across healthcare facilities. We must actively encourage each other to care about and take care of our health. And preventive medicine professionals, regardless of gender have important roles to play in raising awareness of men’s health issues in whatever organizations they practice, from health departments, to clinics, to governmental organizations or private industry.  
There are “baby steps” we can all take to improve our health just a little bit more. Just a little more exercise, just one more serving of fruit and vegetables a day, just stopping by a smoking cessation clinic to see what they have to offer, just making the decision to schedule that long-overdue medical appointment can help. Everywhere there is a father, uncle, brother, son or friend, there is an opportunity to advocate for men’s health. Leave no man behind. 
[2] Accessed 11 June 2024.

Randall Freeman, Vice Chair, Science and Translation Committee 
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