Pre-COVID times were simpler and marked by undisrupted routines like offline fitness sessions, regular meet-ups with the therapist, and much more. But the last two years have been tough for everyone. With COVID-19 hitting the world, people worldwide were forced to restructure their lives and reevaluate what it means to be “well.” The definition of wellness is also changing; it is no longer defined by physical fitness alone. In fact, over three-quarters of Americans think that being physically active helps their mental health.
Exploring Wellness Trends in 2022
According to a study, four in ten adults in the US have reported symptoms of anxiety, depressive disorder, and situations linked to poor mental health outcomes like job loss and isolation. The global pandemic has sparked an increased interest in immune health. While the fact that crisis struck in the worst possible manner and everyone’s routines were badly disrupted, the year did teach everyone, including businesses, to adapt to what hit all of us. And the wellness industry is not far behind.
Around 55% of the US population is now focused on their health and wellness with the intention to strengthen their immune system to withstand the virus. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of people report that they are more focused on health and wellness because they want to live a disease-free and healthy life.
One in five Americans has tried new services or treatments that support immune health. Another 46% are interested in trying those services moving forward, and women are more interested than men in taking care of their health and wellness. Services that Americans have used more this year compared to last year include red light therapy, IV therapy (vitamin drip), and detox programs. Other immune health services they are exploring include injection therapy (such as B12 shots), infrared saunas, and salt therapies.
Intellectual wellness is a relatively new concept that is fast catching on as part of a holistic routine and comes next on our list of wellness trends in 2022. More than a quarter of Americans ranked intellectual wellness within the top three (out of seven) important dimensions of wellness. This includes indulging in creative and stimulating activities such as pottery, learning a new musical instrument, and painting. Alongside, mental health has been ranked the most crucial dimension of wellness by almost half of America (49%), which agreed that the pandemic has negatively affected their mental well-being—with women more likely to feel this than men. In 2021, 37% of Americans incorporated physical fitness into their routine to help support their mental well-being, while 14% added yoga, and 9% opted for wellness treatments like acupuncture. The research also added that millennials are the most stressed generational group, while the younger ones are the least stressed. Teletherapy and telemedicine continue to rise with the pandemic confining people to their homes. People have started taking up activities like walking and meditating, often with wellness apps.
The pandemic has also brought drastic changes in the workplace, impacting working conditions and causing additional stress and anxiety. To counter the issue at hand and ensure the holistic mental well-being of workers, employee assistance programs and well-being apps with fitness and self-care are seeing the light of day in offices. Across various aspects of the employee well-being spectrum, there is an increased focus on personalization, including health coaching, on-demand fitness classes, and self-care subscription services. Employees can now choose which health and well-being initiative best suit their interests and needs, as well as the flexibility, to engage with the service in the most suitable manner for them.
Last but not least, stress management is a topic that cannot be stressed enough in the list of wellness trends in 2022. Sadly, workplace stress has been something many employees face, and the pandemic exacerbated it. In the US alone, nearly two-thirds of employees say they are stressed all or most of the time at work. Offering stress management training, a guided meditation platform, and dedicated resilience coaching can work towards de-stressing employees at the workplace or those working from home.
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