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Global Wellness Summit updated report spotlights trends impacting the business of wellness

Global Wellness Summit updated report spotlights trends impacting the business of wellness
August 19, 2022

Global Wellness Summit has just-released their mid-year updated trend report on the ‘The Future of Wellness’ which includes a new ‘What's Making Headlines’ section capturing how each trend played out in the business of wellness over the past six months.

The Global Wellness Summit report cites ten trends by wellness industry experts that are gaining traction. The GWS report is the only wellness forecast based on the insights of hundreds of global executives of wellness companies, economists, doctors, investors, academics and technologists that gather each year at the GWS.

The 2022 report goes in-depth on the major shifts ahead in nutrition, wellness travel, wellness real estate, women’s health, men’s wellness, healthcare, technology, sustainability and spas that GWS believes will have the most meaningful impact on the industry and people worldwide.

The GWS Top Ten Trends impacting the business of wellness:

1) Dirt-y Wellness: The health of the world’s soil - and the impact of soil exposure on human health–become far more important (Think: ‘soil-bathing’)
Soil is our planet’s most extraordinary ecosystem, a living microbial stew that for millions of years did its job: from cycling nutrients to plants to capturing vast amounts of atmospheric carbon. For 99% of human evolution, people lived deep in soil, as foragers and farmers. Now we’re soil-deprived, no longer bathing in that bacterial and fungal richness - an issue because mounting research indicates that soil exposure has an eye-opening impact on everything from immune to mental health. Industrial agriculture decimated the world’s soil and the soil crisis is here. This trend explores how a soil-restoring regenerative agriculture, the hottest topic in farming, will become a hot topic in wellness: from “regen-certified” becoming the next food label (far more meaningful than organic) to more wellness brands moving to regen-sourced ingredients to regen-agrihoods being the trend to watch in wellness real estate. GWS also cover many trends getting people back to some ‘soil bathing’: from a new microbial architecture creating indoor spaces teeming with healthy soil microbes to the farm becoming as important as spa and fitness at new wellness resorts.

2) Toxic Muscularity Comes Clean: How bulging biceps and rippling abs have had a negative ripple effect on male body image
A growing body of research is revealing that body image is no longer solely a ‘woman’s issue’. A 2021 United Kingdom survey found that half of men aged 16-40 had struggled with their mental health because of how they feel about their bodies - and half pointed the finger at mainstream and social media. ‘Toxic muscularity’ can be literally poisonous. Steroid abuse is hiding in plain sight in the improbable shape of actors, athletes, influencers and action figures - and steroids are merely the most notorious of an ever-expanding pharmacopeia of image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) spreading everywhere, from high-end gyms to high schools. This trend looks at the activists and new initiatives that are driving a new male body positivity movement - the equivalent of the conversation about unhealthily thin female models and Barbie dolls.

3) From Wellness Tech to Technological Wellness: A fresh take on digital health

4) Senior Living Disrupted: A wrinkle in time no more!

5) Wellness Travel: Seekers, Welcome: Post-pandemic travellers are ready for adventure and engagement

6) Innovative Tech Closing the Gender Gap in Medical Research: Artificial Intelligence, apps, and wearables collect data for a wide range of women’s health conditions

7) Urban Bathhouses & Wellness Playgrounds: Affordable wellness is coming to a city near you
Whether it’s new bathhouses featuring hydrothermal bathing (saunas, steam rooms, pools, etc.); large-scale wellness-focused water resorts (some of which accommodate up to 8,000 visitors daily); or public parks where nature meets art and wellness, pandemic-weary cities around the globe are suddenly making the pursuit of wellness accessible, affordable and inclusive. This trend details how an urban bathhouse renaissance is underway, how urban sauna bathing is becoming more popular and playful, and how public ‘playground’” that merge nature and wellness are transforming cityscapes - with new manmade beachfronts, boardwalks, pop-up wellness classes, and even water sports appearing in unexpected places, from New York to Tokyo.

8) Next-Gen Naturalism: The return of self-reliance

9) Health & Wellness Coaching Gets Certified: Coaches trained in the art and science of motivating healthy changes have been the missing link in both healthcare and wellness
The world spends $8.3 trillion a year on healthcare and $4.4 trillion on wellness, but we can’t stem the tide of chronic diseases. Behaviour change is the toughest nut. Health and wellness coaches rigorously trained in the art and science of motivating people to start and stick to healthy behaviours have been the missing link in both healthcare and wellness. This trend goes in-depth on how they’re finally here: how training programs and standards are growing fast, how new medical ‘care team’ models are making this coach as central as the doctor, how an explosion of digital health platforms is claiming to put behavioural ‘coaching’ at the centre, and how the wellness world may be slowly waking up to their power. Certified health and wellness coaches will increasingly work with doctors, insurers, employers, physical therapists, fitness trainers, resorts, and people independently. They are a no-brainer.

10) Wellness Welcomes the Metaverse: Health & wellness are attractive to the Metaverse which needs to diversify beyond gaming
The metaverse is happening…it isn’t a maybe. And thanks to a range of social forces, including the pandemic, the rise of the ‘Wellness Metaverse’ is inevitable. Wellness is now front and centre in consumer’s minds - and at the forefront of business and government strategies around the globe - and the world is seeking new technologies that can far better engage and impact the health of many more people. From virtual reality and augmented reality to merged reality and haptics, the coming wellness metaverse will create vast opportunities for each sector of the $4.4 trillion global wellness economy. This trend explores everything from the trending medical and wellness experiences now being created for the metaverse to how wellness companies should look at the future opportunities.

Purchase the Mid-Year Update edition to see the latest case studies and media coverage on each trend and to gain insight from the original 110-page report written by journalists, analysts and wellness experts who bring each trend to life with numerous examples of the innovators and companies that are pioneering each concept.

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