Project Details

Men’s sheds as community-based health promotion for men aged 50 plus (MASH)

Duration: 01.11.2020 - 31.12.2021
Research Team:

PD Dr. Karin Bammann (Projektleitung);


Birte Albrecht;


Linda Föttinger;

Project Partner: Dirk Gansefort (Landesvereinigung für Gesundheit und Akademie für Sozialmedizin Niedersachsen e.V.)
Project Type: Third-party funded project
Funding: BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung



Men’s sheds are a concept of community-based health promotion for older men which originated in Australia. A men’s shed is a public non-profit communal institution for men where they can engage in joint activities. These activities and also the general conditions vary from shed to shed, but repair- and woodwork are usually central, often for social and charitable purposes. In addition to the activities, events on health-related content (e. g. on diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease) are often organized. The health-relevant effects of men’s sheds include a reduction in social isolation, an increase in psychological well-being, and an improvement in health competence. Despite these positive aspects, men’s sheds are only in a few countries known by a wider public. As the concept of men’s sheds has only been attracting greater attention for about ten years, there is yet no scientific evidence of its effectiveness.  

Project objectives

The aim of MASH is to write a systematic review on health-related effects of community-based men’s sheds in older men. The following research questions are central:

  • What is the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of the effects of community-based men’s sheds on a) subjective health, b) subjective well-being, and c) social isolation of older men aged 50 years and older?
  • Are there differences in the effectiveness according to a) social class, b) migration status, c) age group, and d) health status?

Since there is hardly any experience in Germany with the implementation of community-based men's sheds, the literature included in this study will be used to compile additional findings that are relevant for a possible transfer of the concept in Germany. The following questions will be examined:

  • Which subgroups of older men participate in men’s sheds or their individual components and which do not?
  • Which general conditions (e. g. opening hours) exist and do they have an influence on participation? Which potentially undesired effects are reported and how can they be prevented?
  • What are the characteristics of a successful men’s shed in terms of participation and sustainability (e. g. comparison of rural and urban areas)?

The results of the project provide a solid scientific base for the decision whether community-based men’s sheds should be further tested in Germany.

Further information

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Zeitschriftenbeitrag referiert

Albrecht, B.Föttinger, L.Bammann, K., 2021: Men’s sheds as community-based health promotion for men aged 50 plus: protocol for a mixed-methods systematic review, in: Systematic Reviews, 10, S. 215 (2021), doi:10.1186/s13643-021-01762-x