Research conducted by academics at Edge Hill University has challenged the traditional view that working class males are less interested in their health than women or other male groups.

Dr Paul Simpson and Dr Michael Richards, who work in the department of Applied Health and Social Care, are working on a project which explores the ways in which working-class men across different age groups maintain their health.

The stereotypical working class male has been assumed to be less interested in their health as they face pressure to be strong. But after meeting with three local community groups, they have discovered that men are beginning to look to support groups for help and their research has pointed to a subtle change in working-class masculinity.

They have developed a website and matching interactive app based on men’s health aimed at men, and particularly those facing disadvantage.

The website and app provide information about the research that is being carried out, as well as in depth information about key health related issues that affect men, particularly in relation to alcohol, drug-use, smoking, diet, exercise and fitness, mental health and sexual health.

Dr Paul Simpson, Senior Lecturer in Applied Health and Social Care, said:

“We wanted to explore the reliability of the dominant story of working-class men lacking care and vigilance about their health and well-being, and try to uncover the diverse things that men and know and do about achieving and maintaining health. The web-based app and website aims to underpin this project.”

Dr Michael Richards, Lecturer in Applied Health and Social Care, added:

“We hope to build on our findings by working collaboratively with our participants to apply for more funds so that we can build on this research, with the hope that our app and website can be used as a tool to get men to think about their health and to improve their everyday lives within the contexts of where they live.”

This project has received an award from the University’s Research Investment Fund.

Paul and Michael have also put together an article for The Conversation about their research titled Macho myth busting: working class men aren’t all too tough to seek help.

For more information about studying Applied Health and Social Care courses at Edge Hill, click here.