The Man WoF with Scotty Morrison

Ready for a bit of a tune-up of the body and mind variety? The good news is that AA Health Insurance has teamed up with our friends over at Men’s Health Week and with broadcaster, Te Reo Māori guru and ambassador Scotty Morrison to deliver to you the 'Man WoF'. That's right, think of it as your checklist for servicing both your body and mind this Men's Health Week. 

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AA Health Insurance Final Scotty WOF June


Take the Men's Health Week Quizzes 


 Prostate Quiz                        Diabetes Quiz   

 Heart & Stroke Quiz             Mental Health Quiz   

 What's your score? Quiz 


Find out more information from Men's Health Week

MHW website
The below information has been extracted from the Men's Health Week website. You can find further info, tips and tricks by visiting it here.

Click on any of the quick links below to find out more!

Diabetes Heart and stroke Blood Pressure

Preventative Health What's up Doc? Mental Health

Melanoma Prostate Cancer Testicular Cancer



Diabetes is New Zealand’s fastest-growing health crisis, affecting more than a quarter of a million people. Everyone is at risk of diabetes and one in four New Zealanders is believed to have prediabetes.

Diabetes is an enduring disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy.

Taking your men’s health check and visiting a health professional is a great way to assess your risk of diabetes. There are so many simple ways you can reduce your risk. Small Steps leading to Big Changes

What you CAN’T change

  • Your age
  • Your ethnic background
  • Your family history

What you CAN change

  • Your weight
  • The amount of physical activity you do
  • What you eat
  • Smoking

Small Steps to BIG changes

  • Reduce weight
  • Be active for 30 minutes or more most days of the week
  • Eat healthy food
  • Achieve and maintain good control of your blood pressure and blood cholesterol
  • Get an annual heart and diabetes check from a health professional

Heart and stroke 

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease and happens when the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle (the coronary arteries) become hardened and narrowed. A gradual blockage can result in angina. A sudden or severe blockage can cause a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Most heart attacks happen when a blood clot suddenly cuts off the heart’s blood supply, causing permanent heart damage. Over time, CAD can also weaken the heart muscle and contribute to heart failure (blood pumping problems) and arrhythmias (changes to normal heart beat action).

Risk factors for coronary artery disease

There are a number of factors that are known to increase your risk of CAD. Some risk factors you can’t do anything about. These include age, ethnicity, gender, personal or family history of heart attack or stroke.

Other risk factors you can change and making these changes can have a huge impact on your heart health and general wellbeing. Your risk of developing CAD is significantly increased if you:


The New Zealand Heart Foundation has some simple messages for Men’s Health Week:

  • A heart attack is a life-threatening medical emergency. People need to be aware of the symptoms and call 111 immediately;
  • Symptoms can include: chest discomfort lasting 10 minutes or more; pain that spreads to the jaw, shoulders or back; excessive sweating; shortness of breath; and nausea.
  • Anyone who thinks they are having a heart attack should immediately stop what they are doing and call 111 for an ambulance or ask someone to do it for them.
  • Any delay in calling an ambulance can increase the risk of death or permanent damage to the heart. Staunching it out won’t cure you.

Get a check – it’s easy

A heart and diabetes check works out your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years. It also tells you if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes (where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes).

The check will let you know what your risk is and give you the chance to talk to your doctor or nurse about ways to improve your health and lead a healthier life.

More information about heart and diabetes checks and heart disease is available through the Heart Foundation website.

Blood Pressure 

Blood gets pumped around the body when our hearts fill and contract, putting pressure on the arteries. This pressure is highest when leaving the heart and lowest when it returns. Measuring and describing these (high/low numbers) gives your blood pressure.Ideally you are 120/80 (‘120 over 80’) or lower.

High Blood Pressure - Hypertension

Hypertension occurs when there is too much pressure in your blood vessels. This can damage your blood vessels and cause health problems. Think too much air in your tyres.

Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but it becomes more common as you get older. High blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart and kidney failure. It’s a silent killer because we only know it when we measure it. Anything over 140/90 and you need to start lowering it.

What to do?

  • Get checked regularly. High blood pressure has no warning signs or symptoms. It’s silent. Know your numbers and know your risk. 
  • Your doctor may prescribe medications. Take them.
  • Do the sensible stuff: moderate physical activity, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight, cut down on salt and booze, avoid processed meat, and don’t smoke.

The single most important thing that a person with high blood pressure can do is to have an ongoing relationship with a primary care provider. Go to your doctor, establish what your blood pressure is, and then when that changes, your doctor will recommend steps that will keep you from the clutches of the world’s biggest ‘silent killer’. 

Preventative Health 

Easy steps we can all take to take control of our health

  • The best thing that New Zealand men can do about their health is to get proactive.
  • By taking preventative action you reduce the danger of major health risks including type 2 diabetes.
  • Every positive change is a step towards better and longer lasting health and happiness.

The basics

  • Visit a GP and know your family history
  • Measure your blood
  • Get regular exercise
  • Healthy eating
  • Healthy thinking
  • Stop smoking 

What's up Doc?  

Worried about how long it has been since you last visited a doctor? Don’t be. Now is the time.

Remember this:

  • You won’t get a lecture. Your doctor is not your mum, but is actually your partner in the business of keeping you healthy. You both have a role here.
  • It’s important you choose – and yes, you can choose – a doctor that you are comfortable with, that you trust and can be fully honest to. Everything you reveal or discuss is confidential.
  • Going to the doctor costs about the same as getting a WoF on your car, and way less than say a new tyre. Don’t let the fee cost your life

Mental Health 

There is a growing understanding that although mental health issues can be triggered by stresses in daily life, they are clinical diseases that often require outside help and medical treatment.

They can affect how a man feels, thinks, behaves and interacts with other people, and it is important that men feel they are able to talk about how they are feeling with their family and also their GP.

The most common mental illnesses are anxiety and depressive disorders.


1 in 8 New Zealand men will experience serious depression during their lifetime. Depression is more than a low mood. It is a serious illness that can need clinical treatment. Those with depression find it hard to function and it can have a serious effect on a person’s physical and mental health.

Factors which can contribute to depression in men:

  • Physical health problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Family problems
  • Employment problems
  • Drug and alcohol consumption
  • Social isolation
  • Significant change in living arrangements (e.g. separation or divorce)

There are many things you can do that can help protect you from getting depressed. These include:

  • Staying fit and healthy
  • Reducing alcohol use
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Having balance in your life – identifying and managing stress
  • Spending time with people you like and trust and doing things you usually enjoy
  • Developing skills like problem-solving and communication

Visit if you’re under 20 or for more information


Often people with depression also find they worry about things more than usual. This is known as anxiety.  An anxiety disorder is more than just feeling stressed – it’s a serious condition that makes it hard for the person to cope from day-to-day.

It can cause physical symptoms like pain, a pounding heart or stomach cramps and for some people these physical symptoms are their main concern.

Anxiety may be constant, or it may come and go in certain circumstances. Either way it’s important to recognise anxiety when it occurs, and to seek help.


In New Zealand the suicide rate for men is 3 times that of women.

Suicide and suicidal tendencies are still some of hardest issues to talk about socially. It can be easier to approach the subject by having a concrete idea of where men are most vulnerable and what triggers can often lead towards an attempt on one’s life.

Those aged between 15-24 have the highest rate of suicide, and Maori suicide rates are significantly higher than non-Maori suicide rates.

Some of the most common triggers for suicide are the breakup of a relationship, debilitating physical illness or accident, death of someone close, a suicide of someone famous or from a peer group, or bullying or discrimination.

For more information or to talk to someone about any difficulties that you or someone close to you might be having in their life, please contact LIFELINE on 0800 543 354 or at


Melanoma is a cancer of the pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin, which if not treated can spread very quickly through the body. The most common areas for melanoma are those exposed to the sun, but melanoma can develop in any skin type cells in the body, even areas not exposed to the sun.

Melanomas usually appear as a changed mole or freckle, so if any mole or freckle changes, get it checked out. One simple way to remember the signs and symptoms of melanoma is the mnemonic ABCDE:

  • Asymmetrical – the mole, freckle or lesion is not round.
  • Border – the border is irregular or not well defined.
  • Colour – melanomas usually have multiple colours or are dark (or have no colour at all).
  • Diameter – moles greater than 5 mm are more likely to be melanomas than smaller moles.
  • Evolution – any change should be looked at.

Check your skin regularly, and if you note anything unusual, you must do something about it. Visit your doctor and start the process. 

Prostate Cancer 

Around 1 in 10 New Zealand men will develop prostate cancer at some stage in their lifetime.

Here’s what you should know:

  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among New Zealand men.

  • If found early, men with prostate cancer have a better chance of successful treatment

  • Each year over Kiwi 3500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and approximately 600 men die from it.

  • 80% of diagnoses are for men aged 60 or over.

  • Prostate cancer frequently does not produce any symptoms until the condition is quite advanced; it’s often found after treatment is sought for problems with urinary function

  • The incidence of prostate cancer in New Zealand is increasing.

  • The causes of prostate cancer are still not fully understood.


Get tested

  • There are a range of tests your doctor can arrange which can determine if you have or may be developing prostate cancer.

  • These include the PSA test, physical examination and ultrasound testing. All are painless, simple and easy to get underway.

  • The earlier you get on to it, the better your chances of beating prostate cancer will be.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer develops when cells in the prostate gland grow abnormally, and can spread either locally or around the body.

Risk factors

Anything that can increase your risk is called a risk factor. Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that you will develop prostate cancer.Some of these risk factors can’t be changed (e.g. older age); others can (e.g. being overweight).The risk factors for prostate cancer are:

  • age: the risk of prostate cancer increases from age 50
  • a close family member, like a father or brother, had prostate cancer
  • Lynch syndrome (a rare genetic disorder)
  • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Signs and symptoms

There may be no warning signs that you have prostate cancer. Some signs and symptoms may include:

  • weak urine flow when urinating (peeing)
  • a flow that stops and starts
  • needing to urinate urgently or more often than usual
  • trouble starting or stopping pee
  • getting up often during the night to pee
  • burning when urinating
  • blood in urine or semen
  • pain during urination
  • lower back or pelvic pain
  • unexplained weight loss.

It is important to note, problems with urination are common as men get older. This is usually due to prostate enlargement that is not cancer.

Finding prostate cancer early

Here’s a great tool to help you decide if you need to get tested: .The most common tests used to investigate prostate cancer symptoms are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and the digital rectal exam (DRE).

Useful websites to learn more 


Testicular Cancer 

The ball’s in your court!
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer affecting men between the ages of 15 to 39, but also occurs in other age groups;
  • …but if it is diagnosed early, it has the highest rate of cure of all cancers;
  • About 150 young men are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year in New Zealand;
  • Maori men have a higher incidence of testicular cancer and are more likely to have metastatic disease;
  • Check your balls. Know your own body and if you notice any lumps or changes see your doctor.
  • For more information visit: 


 Lecturer, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University. Originally published on The Conversation


Understanding the effect a sedentary lifestyle has on your health often hits home only after a serious event such as hearing bad news from your doctor. For some people, that’s often enough motivation to get started. 

Lack of time

Finding the time and effort to fit exercise into your daily routine is challenging. We know being “time poor” is a common reason for not exercising. And many people such as office workers, vehicle or machine operators have low activity levels at work and don’t feel like exercising after a long day. One way to get around these barriers might be to attend a group exercise session or join a sports club. If you find exercise boring, you can encourage a friend to join you or join an exercise group to make it enjoyable. If you played sport in your youth, that might provide an option.

You don’t need to join a gym with a lot of fancy equipment to get fit. There are many YouTube videos of safe routines that you can follow and adjust as you get fitter.

Here is a 15 minute cardio exercise routine that you can do at home.

Here is a 30-minute fat burning home workout that’s ideal for beginners.

And this is a 15-minute low-impact workout that is good for the more senior among us. 

Many exercises – including squats, push ups and sit ups – don’t need special equipment. And rather than improving muscle strength with weights at the gym, you can fill milk bottles with water instead.

Yes, you’ll huff and puff. But it gets easier

You might be thinking about starting aerobic exercise like the cardio workout above, or walking, jogging, swimming or cycling. All need oxygen to provide energy over several minutes or longer. When we perform aerobic exercise, our heart rate increases along with our breathing rate and depth. This is because this type of exercise requires oxygen to provide energy to keep going. When we are not used to this type of exercise our body is inefficient at using the oxygen we breathe to generate energy for our skeletal muscles. That’s why when we start an exercise program we huff and puff more, get tired quickly and may not finish the exercise.But if we keep exercising regularly, our bodies become more efficient at using oxygen and we become better at generating enough energy for our muscles to work.