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Mustache for health this Movember
Published 11/1/2012 6:00:00 AM
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Facial hair covers the faces of men for No Shave November, unknowingly wearing a symbol for Movember.

Movember is an event spanning the entire month of November and creatively spreads the word about men's health, both mental and physical. This includes issues like depression, prostate cancer and proper nutrition.

According to the official website, Movember started in Melbourne, Australia. Since then, Movember has moved its way up to becoming an international event open to both men and women.

Brad Stewart, assistant director of Wellbeing, said whenever an event stretches over a month, more people get the chance to learn about and participate in that event.

“Men don't pay attention to their health quite as diligently as women do,” he said. “Men don't always pay attention to their regular yearly check-ups or their screenings, or if they do notice that there's a problem or they're feeling weird, they'll ignore it.”

Simply having a higher rate of colds shows the effects of neglecting health, Stewart said. Cancer awareness is also on the rise, even among college students. Testicular cancer is common among 18-24-year-old males.

“The Movember campaign also expands to other aspects like smoking and drinking, specifically binge drinking,” Stewart said. “Most students, specifically men, don't get the servings of fruits and vegetables they're supposed to get in a day. There's a lot of little things that Movember starts to talk about, around what it means to take care of yourself.”

Wellbeing has a few goals in order to make its first Movember a successful promotion for men's health. They will partner with Phi Kappa Theta fraternity and WSU Crew for fundraising opportunities like facial hair contests for No Shave November and a student and father boxing conditioning class the Friday of Dad's Weekend.

“If you really hit home and make an impact on a handful of people, then you really start to make a change,” Stewart said. “We'll also see people being able to just submit a picture of themselves with their facial hair, coupled with a $5 donation. All the proceeds of No Shave November will go towards cancer research.”

Stewart is hoping by combining a program like Wellbeing and a fraternity, WSU will reach a broader range of faculty, staff, students and those who are and aren’t involved in the Greek community.

Wellbeing will offer a variety of classes to target issues of men's health. These will cover topics such as nutrition, self-defense, muscular strength and men's body image.

“We're doing a health fair on the Friday of Dad's Weekend,” he said. “We're going to have various health screenings like blood-glucose tests and blood-cholesterol tests. We'll have people there that have a display on testicular cancer and some of these other issues.”

Movember is open to women to participants as well, and it is not intended to exclude females.

“(Women) start to see that it is available for them so then maybe they start to ask more questions, maybe they start to look at a little bit more info online,” Stewart said. “Then they actually start to realize that'my grandpa had prostate cancer.’ ”

The university is also starting to pay more attention to men's health. Stewart said Counseling Services now offers men support groups. The University Recreation Center has brought in physically-active classes meant to attract men, such as boot camp, men's boxing and Spartan training.

“I think there's a lot of effort being done to try to engage men in just all of their health and wellbeing,” he said.

For more information about Movember or to get involved with the mustache mania, check out movember.com. To find out about some of the programs Wellbeing will be offering during Movember, visit wellbeing.wsu.edu.

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