WELLNESS

Top 10 wellbeing trends for 2024

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The Global Wellbeing Summit (GWS) has published its annual report The future of welfarewhich forecasts what will make waves in the diverse world of wellness in the coming year.

These are the top ten wellness trends for 2024

Climate-adapted well-being

With an increasingly heat-crushed planet, GWS predicts that we will see a new "climate-adapted wellness": a wave of innovations that can cool our bodies, homes and cities.

The team predicts that this will have a far-reaching impact on architecture and design, spa, fashion, wearables, beauty and even wellness travel.

2. The power of pilgrimage

A record number of new and revitalised pilgrimage routes around the world are attracting new generations to experience the oldest, slowest and most spiritual form of travel.

Smart resorts now offer wellness programmes that incorporate travel between sacred sites, participation in religious services such as meditating with monks or giving alms, and providing access to ceremonies once attainable only after years of experience on the path to enlightenment.

3. From "super-endowed" to open

Wellness has long provided a space for women to open up, explore their emotions and build community, but the same cannot be said for men. GWS says a cultural shift is finally taking place: an increase in social and emotional wellness offerings for men to help them connect with themselves and each other, from exclusive retreats to apps.

In this trend, GWS explores how these "softer" forms of wellness will serve as a much-needed catalyst for male connectedness. Looking ahead, it anticipates that social and emotional wellness offerings for men will be more nuanced, more evenly distributed across life stages and more global.

4. The rise of postpartum wellness

After childbirth (which can bring significant physical and mental problems), new parents often find themselves in a "desert" of care. Fortunately, GWS says that a new era of more comprehensive postpartum care has arrived, and it is taking many directions.

With rates of postpartum depression rising worldwide, governments and corporations are taking action, while new apps are addressing the mental health of new parents (such as Mavida Health, which offers a full range of therapies and counselling). The consumer goods market for wellness has also exploded with options from postpartum skin care to supplements, while brands are also de-stigmatising postpartum sexual wellness.

5. Longevity at all costs

GWS says the speed at which longevity has taken over the biotech, health and wellness spaces this past year is staggering. Branded as a new industry pillar, the obsession with longevity and health will continue to impact everything from travel to technology to fitness in 2024.

For example, more and more high-end gyms (such as Saint Haven in Melbourne) are becoming true longevity clinics, offering exercises (preventative diagnostic tests, scans, etc.) alongside their workouts. If wellness resorts have been more about 'soul' than scans and stem cells, now a growing number are becoming highly medical longevity destinations.

6. The power of weight-loss drugs

The wellness industry was shaken up with the arrival of the new and extremely effective GLP-1 inhibitor weight loss drugs from big pharma, Ozempics and Mounjaros. They radically changed traditional behavioural change approaches to weight loss, reframing weight loss as a matter of biology rather than psychology and 'willpower'.

In the future, GWS predicts that the wellness world will offer more holistic and healthy weight loss approaches, while creating "wellness supplement" programmes for drug users. The future: evidence-based methods that could help people get off these drugs and specifically improve their health while taking them.

7. The rise of sports tourism

After decades of fitness with solitary solo sessions in the gym, more and more people are embracing social and empowering sports, and more also want to train as near-elite athletes. Elite athletes also want hotel destinations that fully support their wellbeing and training. Hotel destinations are finally answering the call of "sports" with everything from professional trainers to professional-grade facilities.

8. The home as a high-tech health centre

Wellness-focused homes have been a megatrend for years, with a big focus on amenities such as meditation rooms and cool pools.

Now homes, and even cities, are becoming multi-faceted, high-tech health hubs. The shift is unprecedented and involves everything from the rise of medical-grade home health monitoring systems to smart furniture that adjusts in real time to individual wellness needs. In a post-pandemic era marked by more time spent at home, home health is taking bold new directions.

9. A new multi-sensory and immersive art for wellbeing

If experiencing art has always been a passive experience, a new wave of experiences in museums, resorts and public spaces, driven by technologies such as generative AI and spatial sound, are turning art into a deeply multi-sensory, immersive experience designed expressly to stimulate your mind. wellbeing.

Museums, hotels and spas are increasingly incorporating multisensory art experiences into their offerings and, in doing so, prioritising wellbeing as an integrated offering. Multisensory and immersive art is also becoming incredibly widespread in public places.

In the future, as the adoption of wearable technologies becomes more widespread, generative artworks will become even more hyper-personalised, participatory and therapeutically effective, says GWS. Adaptive art will continue to take root and push the boundaries of what sensory immersion and art as wellbeing can mean.

10. Under the radar

GWS President and CEO Susie Ellis explores some "under the radar" trends that emerged from the recent GWS in Miami.

A key theme was for the welfare world to work harder to destigmatise mental health problems and create new solutions, given the rising global rates of mental distress. The keynote address by legendary gymnast Simone Biles framed this major theme.

The need for more mental wellness solutions filtered throughout the GWS. Amy McDonald, CEO of Under a Tree Consultancy, argued that as teenagers around the world struggle with mental health, we need to lower the age limits on wellness centres and spas so they can benefit from evidence-based healing treatments, and properties like Qatar's Zulal Wellness Resort have already risen to the occasion.

Another mega-theme: governments are adopting more innovative and powerful welfare policies. GDP not" was debated, and more and more governments are moving beyond money-centred metrics - in favour of quality of life - to measure national well-being.

Keynote speaker Sophie Howe, Wales' first commissioner for future generations, explained the crucial role that policy must play in protecting the lives and health of those who will be born in 50 years' time.

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