Men put themselves over “the pits”

October 24, 2008

Dozens of men booked themselves in for a ‘mechanical overhaul’ in Bingara last week, as part of Hunter New England Health’s Pit Stop program. Pit Stop is a free health check-up, which likens parts of the male anatomy to an engine.

There are 15 different stops including those where men can have their oil levels (blood pressure) tested, spare tyre (girth) checked and asked if their duco is in good order (skin).

HNE Health Workers in the Men’s Shed at CMCA Rally.

On Tuesday October 14, visitors to the Campervan and Motorhome Club convention held in Bingara were targeted by HNE Health workers, with men encouraged to check if their bodies would ‘pass the pits’. 

Almost 70 men took advantage of the Pit Stop check point, which was supported by staff from Bingara Multi Purpose Service, Warialda Community Health Centre, Inverell District Health Service, and Gwydir Shire Council.

Statistically, men are a pretty unwell mob, generally dying of almost all causes earlier than women.

‘Head mechanic’, Community Health Nurse Tiffany Galvin, said the mechanical concept of Pit Stop brought an element of humour to the issue of men’s health.  It also removed the clinical aspect associated with a doctor’s surgery or hospital.  "We challenged the men visiting the Bingara motorhome convention to see if their body would pass the pits with flying colours – or if they would need some follow-up maintenance work," Ms Galvin said.

"We hope the Pit Stop program helps men learn about health issues they might not have paid much attention to.  Hopefully, any knowledge they pick up will then ripple out to the community to their sons, mates and work colleagues."

Volunteers at the Campervan and Motorhome Club convention were a great help to HNE Health on the day, setting up the Pit Stop workshop and providing staff with a lovely lunch.

"We would like to thank David and Lyn Fricke, the organisers of the convention for allowing us to participate in their event.  We would also like to thank Allan Bilsborough for his vintage cars he bought in for our display – they were a real hit with the men," Ms Galvin said.