Press Release

72% of Canadian Men Live Unhealthy Lifestyles

First national study of all health behaviours
Dad teaching son to skateboard and be active outdoors

Toronto, June 11, 2018 – New Canadian research released today finds seventy-two percent of men regularly demonstrate two or more unhealthy habits, including a poor diet, smoking cigarettes, problem drinking, not exercising or not getting regular sleep.

The study, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF), is the first in this country to study health behaviours rather than diseases, and the first to simultaneously look at five key health behaviours that help prevent chronic disease (diet, sleep, exercise, smoking and drinking). Its release coincides with the first day of Canadian Men’s Health Week, which takes place annually in the week leading up to Father’s Day.

Details of the study findings include: 

  • 62% of Canadian men have an unhealthy diet;
  • 54% of Canadian men under or over sleep;
  • 59% of Canadian men do not get 150 minutes of moderate-to-strenuous exercise per week;
  • 39% of Canadian men have unhealthy alcohol consumption; and
  • 20% of Canadian men smoke cigarettes.

Only 5% of respondents exhibited no unhealthy behaviours and were classified as ‘very healthy.’ Those who exhibited only one unhealthy behaviour were deemed healthy (22%). Men with two unhealthy behaviours were considered borderline (31%) and those with three or more of the above behaviours were classified as unhealthy (42%).

Wayne Hartrick, President of the CMHF, points out that it doesn’t take much for a man to go from the “unhealthy” category to the “healthy” category. “Think of these categories as a ladder. Most Canadian men can move up a rung by changing just one unhealthy behaviour. They can go up two rungs by changing two behaviours, like eating five fist-sized servings of fruit and getting seven hours of sleep. It’s about having the control to veer away from disease versus  ‘Oops, I’ve got it, it sucks and why didn’t I prevent it!’

Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Chairman of the CMHF, says “We now have a platform to evaluate health behaviours of Canadian men over time. I hope other researchers will use this platform to study different populations around the globe and design targeted interventions to engage men to live healthier lifestyles. After all, 70% of men’s chronic health conditions are caused by lifestyle and, unlike genetics, can be changed to improve your health.”

Hartrick is challenging men: “Visit the website, see where you are on the ‘health ladder’ and move up one rung. Its much easier than you think.”

The CMHF website offers easy to follow, medically-backed simple tips and tools to help men and their families live healthier lives.


About the Study

These are the findings of an Intensions Consulting study conducted between April 20, 2017 and April 28, 2017, on behalf of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation and released publicly today. For this study, an online survey was administered with a sample of 2,000 Canadian men between the ages of 19 and 94 years. The sample was stratified to ensure that the sample’s composition reflected the underlying distribution of the Canadian population as determined by 2016 Census data. A traditional probability sample of comparable size would have produced results considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Canadian Men’s Health Foundation

Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) is a national, not for profit organization with a mission to inspire Canadian men and their families to live healthier lives. The statistics around men’s health in Canada are alarming; 70% of men’s health problems can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyles. Learn more at, and

About Canadian Men’s Health Week

Canadian Men’s Health Week is a nationally recognized week dedicated to improving the health of men in our country. The week will be from Monday June 11th – Sunday June 17th, (Father’s Day). The week serves as an opportunity to raise awareness of men’s health issues and provide tips and tools for men and their families to live healthier lives.

For a copy of the press release, download the PDF here.

Media Requests

Andrea Chrysanthou, Global Public Affairs
[email protected]

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