Forget reaching a new decade, getting married or buying a first home, becoming a dad is the top reason for men to take stock of their health and lifestyle. Over half (56%) of men agree that becoming a father is the moment that finally prompts them to take action – with 29% of men seeking medical advice in the first three months of becoming a dad.
The findings come as Bupa UK Health Clinics releases new research to mark Men’s Health Week (10-16 June). The research found that over two-thirds (69%) of fathers sought health advice within the first year of their child’s life and almost three quarters (73%) of those did so after becoming a father for the first time.
The statistics show that as responsibility kicks in, over a third (35%) of fathers said they had booked a health assessment after becoming a dad. More than half (57%) said they got a niggle checked by a health professional.
It isn’t just their health that men address once they become a dad. Fatherhood also triggers other “life admin” tasks such as, opening a savings account, checking the battery in the smoke alarm, getting the car serviced and updating life insurance policies.
Dr Petra Simic, Clinical Director, Bupa UK Health Clinics, says: “We know men are sometimes reluctant to discuss their health, however, in our clinics, we regularly see new dads coming in for health checks. There are many reasons behind this. For example, new parents find that their sleep pattern drastically changes, and this can leave them feeling run down and exhausted prompting the decision to get their health checked out.
“Likewise, fatherhood can change a man’s perspective. Suddenly he is no longer just responsible for himself but for his whole family and this can trigger the need to make sure he is fit and well to support his partner and the baby.
“A health assessment is a fantastic way to get an overall snapshot of your health and help you to make informed decisions, which is why it is so popular amongst new fathers.”
The ‘new dad checklist’ includes all of the top health and lifestyle actions that men do after the birth of their child, they are:
- Book the car in for an MOT/service
- Book dentist appointment
- Book in for a full health assessment
- Open a savings account
- Change batteries in smoke alarm
- Check insurance policies
- Book a health appointment to get a niggling pain checked
- Set up a pension
- Check or install home security alarm
- Write a will