Adult millennials, the coveted 18- to 32-year-old demographic, highly value happiness. However, according to a new US survey by Allidura Consumer and GSW, both part of inVentiv Health, and Harris Poll there appears to be big tension between the aspirations for happiness (97% say it's important) and the well-documented way millennials are currently living: more stressed, anxious, and depressed than any other living generation.
The online survey of 3,530 teens and adults, including 2,015 adult millennials, uncovered behaviors and attitudes about health that are unique or consistent across generations. The goal was to better understand today's health consumers in order to inform and facilitate better interactions with brands.
"As society shifts its focus from relying on HCPs to treat disease to taking individual responsibility for prevention and wellness, we wanted to understand how attuned millennials are to their health now, and how it factors into their everyday decision making," said Tracy Naden, managing director of Allidura Consumer.
"What we learned is that millennials' mindset about health is very much an ever-present personal journey of wellness fueled by food, exercise, and social connections."
The survey report, "Millennil Mindset: The Worried Well," notes that as creators of the quantified-self movement, millennials are often perceived as healthier than their baby boomer counterparts.
Yet, one commonality this generation may not have expected at such an early stage of adulthood is that they worry about their health almost exactly as much as boomers (77% of both generations say they worry at least a little about getting a serious illness; 77% of adult millennials and 74% of boomers say they worry at least a little about affording the cost of healthcare). In fact, millennial adults worry about their access to healthcare even more than boomers (69% vs. 60% worry at least a little).
Health is a Constant State of Mind
The study suggests that millennials see the mind-body connection as important to overall health. With 69 percent of millennials reporting they stress about their personal health, it seems many are beginning to prioritize mental well-being as a key factor to physical health. In fact, survey results show that 35 percent of millennials believe seeing a therapist or psychiatrist regularly is important to good health.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with "doctor Google" at their fingertips. According to Derek Flanzraich, CEO and founder of greatist.com, a popular health and wellness website for millennials, "There's never been more health information for millennials to find, so it only make sense that it's never been more difficult for them to properly screen, analyze, and act on the right data."
This is supported by survey data that find 37% of millennials sometimes self-diagnose with health problems that they don't have. Perpetuating this "search and stress" cycle, 44% say that viewing health information online causes them to worry about their health.
"For millennials, the question isn't who can help them be healthy, but rather what can help them," said Leigh Householder, chief innovation officer at GSW. "To millennials, physical health is intricately connected with mental health. So, for brand marketers to be successful in reaching this audience, they must think about health and wellness the same way, and create solutions that inspire millennials to experience health at any given moment and throughout all aspects of their lives."
To read more about the millennials' health journey and how brands can reach this health-conscious consumer, download the "Millennial Mindset: The Worried Well" report here.
Source: Allidura Consumer, allidura.com