In a recent nationwide study looking at the health and fitness habits and attitudes of 5,000 millennials between the ages of 14 to 34, only 52% of Millennials rated their overall level of wellness as “good” or “excellent.” The study, The Wellness Deficit: Millennials and Health in America, was commissioned by Technogym, a world leading company supplying fitness and wellness products, services and solutions.
With activity trackers and smartwatches emerging beyond the early adopter crowd and health information more readily available than ever before, millennials have greater access to wellness tools than previous generations. The study found that millennials recognize that physical activity is vital to improving overall wellbeing and is a fundamental way to reduce stress.
Supporting previous research on the effect of exercise with overall wellness, the study found that those who exercise more frequently reported greater satisfaction in relationships, happiness in life and overall level of wellness. However, while the study found that millennials recognize that physical activity is vital for improved health and fitness levels, reduced weight, lowered stress, it often doesn’t necessarily translate into behaviors that serve to prioritize and enhance wellness.
The study found that millennials would like to exercise more frequently, but say they’re often too busy and unable to commit to the time needed. When they find limited time to exercise, armed with plenty of information, millennials generally look for short and sharp exercise formats that fit into their everyday busy schedules.
As a result, the research supported the idea of a growing “wellness deficit” emerging among millennials, driven by financial insecurity, poor health, and concerns over their appearance.
“Closing the wellness deficit must be a priority not only for individuals but for entities with a stake in the wellness of the next generation, whether this be government, education or business,” said Nerio Alessandri, President and Founder of Technogym.
In general, technology and interaction using mobile devices in particular, was shown to be a central theme in overcoming the “wellness deficit.” The study found that technology helped millennials become more confident, connected, and in control when it comes to their wellness and fitness programs.
With obesity already a nationwide epidemic, the increased accessibility of choices and information around health and fitness has made 90% of millennials aware of obesity issues and feel something should be done to address it. The millennial studied were found to be self-conscious about their own body images, with 62% worried about being or becoming obese in the future.
Here are some of the study’s other key findings about the millennial generation:
- Both physical health (75%) and body image (70%) are felt to be important to overall wellbeing – yet only 47% are satisfied with their physical health and body image
- Only half (52%) rate their level of wellness as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’
- 62% believe the trend of fitness selfies on social media puts unrealistic pressure on young people
- 56% feel more stressed/anxious now than they did 12 months ago
- Barriers preventing millennials from exercising include being too busy (50%), and lack of motivation (35%)
- 90% of millennials typically exercise on average of 4 hours each week, but like to spend 6 hours
- 65% think it is important to track and monitor their fitness progress.
- The benefits of mobile technology include tracking progress wherever and whenever (72%), tracking progress in one place (48%) and accurate data (43%) – with 29% believing that it is easy to share progress with friends and family
- 39% like to share results of their workout with their friends through social media
- The use of mobile app technology is set to rise from 56% to 74% by 2016, with 40% planning to use wearable technology for fitness purposes
- The benefits of group exercise include increased motivation (70%), more enjoyable sessions (65%) and an opportunity to catch up with friends (48%)
- 69% believe physical competitions are a good way to keep fit while socializing
- 44% of millennials believe the traditional gym as we know it today, will evolve by 2020 – the gym of the future is seen as relaxed, interactive, customized and fun
- 77% would like their workout at the gym to be as interactive and fun as possible
- 77% think the gym experience should be personalized to meet individual goals
- Health blogs (38%), friends & family (32%), health mobile apps (31%) and health magazines (31%) are set to be the main sources of information on health trends in 2016
To download the full study, visit Technogym’s website.