Research projects

Men’s Sheds in Australia

Principal researchers 

Mr. Tom Holman
Mr. Paul Flood


UltraFeedback Pty Ltd



Project completion year        

November 2013

Project brief   

beyondblue and the Australian Men’s Shed Association are seeking an evaluation that will focus on the effect of Australian Men’s Sheds on the lives of its members.

The evaluation will identify, through qualitative and quantitative means to what degree Men’s Sheds:

  1. help men regain a sense of purpose in life
  2. enhance self-esteem
  3. decrease social isolation
  4. facilitate friendship and companionship
  5. provide an environment conducive to learning
  6. improve physical health
  7. increase awareness of depression and anxiety
  8. reduce stigma of depression and anxiety
  9. increase help-seeking for depression and anxiety
  10. increase help-seeking for other health issues.


Men’s Sheds across Australia vary in their focus, resources, programs and membership base. However, while Men’s Sheds vary, they are all thought to offer social, emotional and other benefits to men who participate in them. It is thought that the benefits of men being involved in sheds are that they:

  • help men regain a sense of purpose in life
  • enhance self-esteem
  • decrease social isolation
  • facilitate friendship and companionship
  • provide an environment conducive to men’s learning.

At a broader level, men’s participation in men’s sheds is thought to have positive effects for partners, families and communities.

The aim of the research was to determine the effect of involvement in a Men’s Shed on the lives of its members and determine to what degree Men’s Sheds enhance their health and wellbeing across the number of areas mentioned above. 

The research highlighted a number of health benefits for ‘shedders’ (i.e. Men who are members of a shed) compared to ‘non-shedders’. Shedders scored higher on areas such as:

  • physical functioning and health
  • general health
  • energy levels.

For many shedders, membership comes about following a significant life change such as retirement or loss of a spouse. Through this membership, men clearly demonstrated a renewed sense of purpose and enhanced self-esteem through developing social connections with other men. 

Shedders also demonstrated an improvement in awareness of mental health issues like depression and anxiety through shed membership.

Final reports


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