What would you do for your country? With Canada Day just around the corner this question is especially relevant. Of course, most men already do plenty for their home and native land, whether serving in the Armed Forces, working a government job, or simply paying the taxes that keep everything humming along.
But there’s something else millions of us can do for Canada: Live healthier lives. The personal benefits of this are obvious and easily attainable, as Canadian Men’s Health Week and the Take the One-Click Health Pledge Campaign clearly show. But the flip-side of this – unhealthy lifestyle behaviours – are costing Canada much more than you might think.
How much? The phrase “an arm and a leg” comes to mind when looking at the results of a new ground-breaking study. Taken together, four health factors – smoking, excess weight, over-consumption of alcohol and physical inactivity – cost Canada’s economy $36.9 billion each year.
The infographic below breaks down the specific sources of this staggering dollar figure, which is more than, say, the value of every NHL team put together; all the Canadian coins in circulation; a decade’s worth of maple syrup production…you get the idea. In short, it amounts to around $2,200 for every adult male in the country. Yikes!
The takeaway: There may be better ways for you to display your patriotism than by cranking the Tragically Hip or flocking to Parliament Hill on July 1. In fact, Take the Pledge offers four. It calls on guys across the country to commit to making four simple lifestyle changes that can help them feel better and live healthier lives: Take the stairs instead of the escalator, choose salad as a side dish, get off the bus one stop earlier, and eat more broccoli. One click or tap to CanadianMensHealthWeek.ca is all it takes for men to take the pledge.
But it doesn’t stop there. Guys can take their pledges to the next level by recording selfie videos and challenging friends and family to embrace stairs, short strolls and salads. (Men’s health Champions Simon Whitfield, Trevor Linden, Adam Kreek, Shea Emry, Alain Vigneault, Jim Hughson and Ned Bell are taking the lead on this; to see Hughson’s clip, click here.)