Why, how and when men should have regular health check-ups

5 min

At a certain age, men need to start scheduling regular health checks for certain conditions. 

But at what age should you start, what conditions do you need to screen for, and how do you go about it? 

It can be confusing and overwhelming, and many factors (your age, lifestyle, family history, and health, for example) can influence how often you need a check-up.

The Better Health Channel — a Victorian Government-funded health and medical information provider — states health checks can be crucial for your health and wellbeing: 

“Men need regular health checks. As you get older, it can take a while to realise you’re not bulletproof when it comes to your health. Especially if you’re putting off important check-ups or taking an ‘it’ll be all right’ attitude towards any symptoms you’re experiencing. 

“Medical check-ups help you stay healthy … and [can] pick up early warning signs of disease or illness.

“Diseases such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes and some cancers can often be picked up in their early stages, when treatment may minimise or prevent complications and progress.

“When you have a health check, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history, your family’s history of disease and your lifestyle. They may also talk to you about your diet, your weight, how much you exercise and whether you smoke or drink.

“If you have high risk factors, it may be more likely that you will develop a particular disease. Regular check-ups may help your doctor pick up early warning signs. For example, high blood pressure may be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.”

Treat your health like you do your car — schedule a regular service

Healthy Male’s Spanner in the Works toolkit, developed with the Australian Men’s Sheds Association, is a free resource that provides Australian men with an ongoing service and maintenance schedule throughout their lives.

It suggests monitoring your health as you do your car, by scheduling regular maintenance. The toolkit states that knowing when to have your car checked is no different than keeping your body in peak condition. 

“Our most valuable piece of machinery is our own health and wellbeing,”

– Simon von Saldern, Healthy Male CEO

“If we break down, then we’re unable to operate all the other machinery that we have. When it comes to looking after ourselves though we’re generally not so good! We mostly don’t have a ‘maintenance schedule’ and tend to use a ‘wait and see’ approach. 

“Spanner in the Works provides you with a maintenance schedule for your body, and some key health messages in a way that is understandable and achievable. 

“Often, minor adjustments can have a major impact on your health, relationships with loved ones, your friends and work. Most importantly, we want you to put yourself ‘over the pits’ each year by getting a full health check through your GP.”

So, what health checks should men have, and when? 

Now we know regular health check-ups are important, but where, how and when do you start? 

As always, your GP is the best starting point — ask your doctor what health checks you need next time you have an appointment, and be guided by their advice. 


Healthy living

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