We want men to live happier, healthier, longer lives.
We’ll always be all about the moustache, but now there’s more than one way to champion men’s health in Movember! Being active is one of the best things you can do for your health. MOVE is fundamentally connected to the Movember Foundation’s vision – to help men live happier, healthier and longer lives.
Engaging in physical activity has been shown to help prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity and mental health problems.
“We’ll always be all about the moustache, but now there’s more than one way to champion men’s health in Movember”
It’s a complex issue and one that requires a strategic, multi-tiered solution. It can’t simply be resolved by raising awareness of the importance of men being physically active. Of course, the education and awareness piece plays a part in any solution; however, the majority of men know the health benefits of staying active but this knowledge often doesn’t translate into action.
Getting men to take action is the vital piece of the MOVE solution jigsaw
Through our work in this space, we’re seeking to change the behavior of men when it comes to physical activity. In order to effectively impact behavior, you need to look at the relevant research and understand what drives behavioral change. It’s a complex issue and we know that it’s not all about conscious, rational decision-making. Decisions individuals make, whether it is in regards to their health or other aspects of their life, are influenced by societal, emotional and unconscious influences. More often than not, people do not make rational decisions.
Getting men to change when it comes to physical inactivity is vital as making healthy lifestyle changes affects not only our risk of disease and the way we feel today but also our health and ability to function independently in later life. However, we understand that making healthy changes is often easier said than done. Even when we know the facts and have a desire for change, adopting a new, healthy habit, or breaking an old, bad one, can be tough.
The MOVE challenge: 30 MOVEs in 30 DAYS
The challenge is to MOVE every day of Movember – 30 MOVEs in 30 days. How you MOVE each day is up to you. Whether it’s a workout one day, walking 30 minutes to work the next, a game of ping pong or an epic bike ride, no MOVE is too big or small.
In order to inspire change, we know that we need to frame the behavior in a positive light by making it seem more doable. We therefore made a deliberate decision not to dictate exactly what the commitment looks like. We want to engage all men, particularly those who have very low levels of physical inactivity. We want to make sure that we don’t put anyone off by laying down a plan that seems unattainable to some.
We absolutely give ideas around what you could do, however, our overarching message is that we simply want them to do more than they’re doing now, for 30 days. We want you to plan for something that is achievable, simple and build up from there. The sustained effort over one month is hopefully the beginning of a long-term change in behavioral pattern!
Our approach is supported by experts who study behavior change; they agree that long-lasting change is most likely when it’s self-motivated and rooted in positive thinking. The Economic and Social Research Council, a British research group, released findings on 129 different studies of behavior change strategies. The results confirmed that the least effective strategies were those that stimulated fear or regret in a person attempting to make a change.
What makes addressing physical inactivity so critical is that we know it has a positive knock on effect. So, if you consider the four key risk factors to mortality – physical inactivity, high rates of alcohol consumption, smoking and poor nutrition: people who have one of these risk factors, tend also to have one or more of the others; a clustering of poor health behaviours you could say. Evidence shows that these poor health behaviors also tend to un-cluster, particularly with improved physical activity. What this means is, if men increase their levels of physical activity they are, in turn, likely to improve their nutrition and decrease their rates of alcohol consumption and smoking.
“Improving physical activity tends to improve other poor health behaviors”
The Movember Foundation views physical activity as the link to improvements in other health behaviours and illnesses too. By focusing on getting men to be more physically active, the Foundation will be, in many cases, moving the dial on other unhealthy behaviours.
As the leading, global men’s health organization, we have a responsibility to make physical inactivity a priority issue for men and their families.
According to the World Health Organization, poor current levels of physical inactivity are due, in part, to insufficient participation in physical activity during leisure time and an increase in sedentary behavior during occupational and domestic activities. Likewise, an increase in the use of “passive” modes of transport has also been associated with declining physical activity levels.
When tackling the issue, we know that we need to reach out and engage with men, in a variety of settings, including their workplace but also within communities, sporting clubs and other social settings. We also know that we can’t do it alone and that we’ll need to work with partners around the world to help drive our work addressing this issue. YOU-app is one of those – we share the vision of happier, healthier, longer lives!
Join the MOVEment!
-The Movember Foundation
- Insufficient physical activity can be defined as less than five times 30 minutes of moderate activity per week, or less than three times 20 minutes of vigorous activity per week, or equivalent.
- Insufficient physical activity is the fourth leading risk factor for mortality.
- Approximately 3.2 million deaths each year are attributed to insufficient physical activity.
- People who are insufficiently physically active have a 20 to 30 per cent increased risk of all-cause mortality compared to those who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week.
- In 2008, 31.3 per cent of adults aged 15 or older (28.2 per cent men and 34.4 per cent women) were insufficiently physically active.
- The prevalence of insufficient physical activity is higher in high-income countries compared to low-income countries due to increased automation of work and use of vehicles for transport in high-income countries.
- High-income countries have more than double the prevalence of insufficient physical activity compared to low-income countries for both men and women, with 41 per cent of men and 48 per cent of women being insufficiently physically active in high-income countries compared to 18 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women in low-income countries.
This post was written by the ass-kicking Movember Foundation in UK – the team that brought the moustache back into fashion and is now changing how men think and act regarding moving. Boom – we at YOU-app are happy and honored to be part of the campaign.