Corporate wellness insights

Wellness Trends on the Horizon (Part 2)

Posted by Matthew on 02.20.2017

workplace wellness trendsLast Monday, we looked at the economic impact that workplace wellness and the overall wellness industry have on the global economy, as estimated by the Global Wellness Institute, Global Wellness Economy Monitor, January 2017. Today, we’d like to highlight a few wellness trends that GWI identified in both that report and in the 2017 Wellness Trends from its Global Wellness Summit, held in October 2016.

A Surge in Mental Wellness Programming

GWI calls mental wellness “the biggest future trend, period.”

We’ve discussed the topic recently in our blogs and have seen it firsthand here at WCS. More and more employees are turning to meditation, yoga and other mindfulness exercises to calm the mind and ready themselves for the tasks at hand.

Due to both increasing levels of stress and our greater understanding of brain science, GWI writers say that wellness workplaces, retreats, spas, fitness studios, schools and governments will step up “healthy mind” programming. Meditation will mainstream further and sleep health programs and technology will increase in popularity. Wellness centers/destinations will bring in psychotherapists and neuroscientists, and new apps will track mental wellness and stress.

Wellness Beyond the “Well-Off”

GWI predicts a democratization of wellness, where access to healthy living options will extend to more than the rich. Changes will include more wellness businesses providing more services to more people. We’ll see a wave of healthy products and services at lower price-points:

  • New affordable healthy grocery stores
  • New healthy “fast-food” chains
  • Low-priced, wellness-focused lodging
  • More budget spa brands
  • More “sliding scale” wellness: fitness classes and healthy restaurant prices based on income

The Need for Quiet

The constant insertion of digital noise into our lives has given rise to sharp new desires for actual silence—quiet contemplation—to leave the shrieking world totally behind. GWI says we’ll see a sharper focus on silence, with more businesses and wellness destinations taking a radical new approach by providing opportunities for silence and absolute disconnection.

Businesses, hotels and resorts will offer “quiet room labels,” “Quiet Zone” floors and “digital kill switches” that make it (temporarily) impossible to utilize smartphones or other digital technology. Even silent restaurants and airports are on the horizon.

“Wellness Architecture” Emerges

All these new technologies are making possible a new “wellness architecture”—which is emerging as one of the most meaningful future wellness trends. New standards that do for human wellness what LEED did for the environment will also be adopted. GWI predicts that everything in buildings will be rethought: air, ventilation, water, light, sleep, and sound/acoustics. More Americans will choose to live in new wellness-focused communities.

For more analysis of the mental wellness, “democratization,” and other wellness trends, check out the full Global Wellness Summit report (PDF).