How Men Can Live Healthier, Kinder and Longer Lives
A revolution in biology is underway.
According to the World Health Organization, life expectancy increased globally by more than six years from 2000 to 2019, from an average of 66 to 73 years. This number is expected to increase alongside further innovations in technology, health care and biosciences, giving human beings new timelines and relationships to their bodies. There is a reasonable probability that Gen Xers and many millennials live until 100 or 120. As the theorist Yuval Noah Harari writes in Homo Deus, “Today more people are dying from eating too much than from eating too little, and more people are dying of old age than from infectious diseases.”
Men especially need to realize this fundamental shift in human nature and adapt their routines to make their health front and center. Although the global health and wellness sectors are estimated at $4.5 trillion (and by our estimates, are likely to reach over $10 trillion in the coming decade), a majority of this market share comes from consumer and lifestyle subcategories marketed toward women, from skincare lines to nutritional supplements. The harsh reality is that men in the Western world are fundamentally stubborn when it comes to taking care of their health; work deadlines, family commitments, everything else seems to take priority over their physical body. To add to the problem, broader Western culture has emphasized machismo over self-care for men, which makes it difficult to have vulnerable health conversations with the right professionals—and ask for help.
The culture is changing, however. Prominent executives and even Olympic athletes, like Michael Phelps, have opened up in recent years about their emotional wellbeing and how this can impact their performances. If previously taboo topics like anxiety and depression are now mainstream in public spaces, destigmatizing common physical conditions, like hair loss and low testosterone, is the natural evolution, in line with the ‘body positivity’ push.
Men undergo biological changes beginning in their 30s just as much as women, and it is important to discuss them so nothing is left neglected, and everyone can live healthier lives.
We’ve seen a push in health startups, like ours, to normalize difficult conversations about men’s health and wellness, while offering easier care. The solution must consider the current problems surrounding men’s health and wellness—if men are reluctant to prioritize this component of their lives, then the solution needs to be convenient, while offering an easily accessible entry point. But more importantly, the solution must give them a renewed interest in life and want to be better for themselves and their families. As the culture shapes into one of empathy and compassion, we anticipate men’s health and wellness will grow into multi trillion-dollar industries alongside the current estimates for the broader sectors.
As people, we’re living far longer. Once realized, prior life trajectories aren’t valid. Men must architect their lives to become the best version of themselves and embodiments of “positive masculinity” rather than the counterpart emphasized in current cultural debates.
With longer timelines, we get to live life over again. But to do so, health must be a priority.
Saad Alam is the founder of Hone Health, which has raised $12 million since launching in 2020 to offer male medical testing solutions.