Millennials today are the largest generation in the workforce — outnumbering Baby Boomers — and they have a radically different perspective on health care than previous generations.
A study conducted by Gallup looked at how millennials want to work and live, and it shows that they care more about health and other wellness benefits than Baby Boomers and Generation X.
Millennials define health and well-being as doing more exercise, eating better, and quitting bad habits. This is distinct from past generations’ definition of health: as long as you’re not sick, you’re healthy. Wellness is and has always been a way of life for millennials. This age group is concerned about their physical and mental health that they strive to maintain good habits and positive social relationships, which are considered essential to happiness.
But why does this generation consider overall wellness such an important thing?
Greater mental health awareness
While Baby Boomers and Generation X consider health more critical from a physical and individual standpoint, millennials, on the other hand, consider it an emotional and psychological concept. This means they consider mental and emotional well-being to be just as vital as being physically healthy.
Millennials are adept at using therapy and are constantly looking for new ways to improve their mental health and promote awareness of the significance of one’s psychological well-being. One example of this mental health awareness is that they will never hesitate to leave jobs or situations detrimental to their mental health.
Millennials are criticized for their lack of loyalty or “job hopping.” But a study conducted by Mind Share Partners, SAP, and Qualtrics published in the Harvard Business Review states that almost 50% of millennials leave their jobs due to mental health reasons. They place a high premium on education, higher purpose, and cross-organizational collaboration, and they want to be acknowledged and rewarded for their innovative ideas. They also have a strong drive to be perfect, which leads them to seek help when they believe they failed to fulfill their goals.
Millennials see the importance of fitness as more than just a way to be in shape because it is a means for them to manage their stress and look after their mental health. The Physical Activity Council (PAC) study claims that millennials are more fit and active than the generations before them.
Multiple alternative healthcare and information access
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure,” and millennials strongly believe in this as a generation. When it comes to their health, millennials are more proactive than reactive. As a result, they are more inclined to use alternative treatments, therapy, exercise, and healthy eating habits. They opt for preventative measures to help keep them healthier in the long run, unlike older generations who see regular doctor visits as essential to good health.
According to Managed Healthcare Executive, technology and social media have enabled millennials to seek out knowledge about health solutions from their peers. Virtually anyone can use social media platforms to learn alternative treatments, from managing cramps with sweets, learning how to perform yoga, to buying the perfect self-care gift.
Technology has provided people more access to wellness information and puts personal health tracking in their hands. Millennials can even use apps to understand different types of rest vital for better mental health, increased concentration and memory, and a healthier immune system.
The bottom line is, millennials, more than any other generation surveyed, expressed a strong desire to learn about health care fundamentals. They want to know what and when to do it, how to do it, and with whom.
Understanding the importance of mental and physical health and how they will always go hand in hand helps explain why millennials are known as the “wellness generation”. They treat wellness as a daily, active pursuit. Whether it is journaling, talking to a therapist, taking a mental health day off work, going to the gym, and eating healthy, millennials strive to prioritize health’s physical and psychological concepts to get them through the long journey of life. Millennials, therefore, prove that they are a generation that takes pride in making informed decisions based on multiple sources of knowledge.