Cleveland Clinic discovered that the COVID-19 pandemic is either negatively impacting men’s mental and physical health or pushing them to make healthier decisions according to results from its national survey.
A part of Cleveland Clinic’s fifth annual educational campaign, “MENtion It,” created to help shed light on men’s health and to encourage men to take steps to prevent medical issues, this year’s campaign tackled the pandemic’s effects on men and how men view the future, according to a news release.
The online survey looked at the health of about 1,000 men 18 years or older, and 77% described an increase in their stress level due to the virus, 59% said they have felt isolated during the pandemic and 45% detailed a worsening in their emotional/mental health caused by COVID-19.
“We couldn’t take the temperature on the state of men’s health this year without focusing on the one thing that has affected every person in this country and beyond,” Dr. Eric Klein, chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute, said in the release. “Many men are finding themselves in new and different roles as a result of this pandemic; for example, they are out of work or are working around the clock at home looking after kids with their partners all while worrying about their family’s health and their own health. It’s no surprise that mental health rose to the top as a critical issue in this year’s survey.”
Additional survey results included:
• 59% felt COVID-19 has had a greater negative impact on their mental health than the 2008 recession.
• 66% said they rarely talk about the impact COVID-19 has had on their mental health.
• 48% have put off seeing a doctor for non-COVID-19 related health issues over the last few months; this is even higher among men 18 to 34 (56%).
• 40% said they are struggling to stay healthy during COVID-19.
• 24% reported weight gain during the pandemic.
• 45% feel healthier now than before the COVID-19 outbreak.
• 28% have started sleeping more, while 22% have been exercising more and 19% have been eating healthier since the COVID-19 outbreak.
• 23% have been spending more time with family/friends virtually, likely as a way of coping with social distancing.
• 70% have been wearing face masks in public as a means of protection against COVID-19, while 30% have not.
• Younger men 18 to 34 are less likely to avoid gathering in large groups to protect themselves against COVID-19 (51%), compared to older men 55 and up (67%).
• While 64% don’t see an end to the COVID-19 outbreak in sight, 71% remain optimistic about the future as the world continues to battle COVID-19.
“We want to remind men that their health shouldn’t take a back seat, especially during a pandemic,” Klein said. “If you’re experiencing symptoms that indicate a real health issue, don’t be afraid to come to the hospital or schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider, either virtually or in person. Your health is too important not to.”