A farmers’ health is the most important asset to their farm business, according to a farm lobby group’s spokesperson.

To mark Men’s Health Week – taking place from June 10 to June 16 – the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s)  national farm family and social affairs chairperson Caroline Farrell has encouraged farmers to make “small changes” to improve their health and wellbeing.

She noted: “Farming is hard work and farmers work long hours, particularly at this time of year.

This can take its toll on physical and mental health. Farmers need to prioritise their own health and take time to recharge their batteries.

This year’s campaign, ‘Men’s Health Matters’, is asking everyone to make the time and take the time to do something ‘realistic and practical’ to improve both their own health and the health of the men and boys that they have contact with.

“Farming is one of the most physically and mentally demanding jobs. It is so important that farmers maintain and enhance their physical health and mental wellbeing.

If you have a pain with your back, feel burnt out or worried about some aspect of your health, make a commitment to go to you GP to get it checked out.

Continuing, Farrell noted: “The main causes of farmers’ ill health are associated with manual handling, lung problems, infections and noise. Of farmers with occupational ill health, 50% suffer from chronic back pain.”

Farrell concluded: “Farmers need to achieve a better balance between work, outside interests and time spent with family and friends. By taking better care of yourself, your farm business can only benefit.”