Updated: May 27, 2020
The world’s ageing population, the environmental crisis, failing health systems and evolving lifestyles are the four major forces driving the explosive growth in the wellness economy
This is according to the Global Wellness Institute’s ‘Understanding Wellness’ White Paper Series. Says Ophelia Yeung, GWI senior researcher and coauthor of the series: “The wellness economy is now a $4.2 trillion global industry. Yet, the questions that we most often encounter are: ‘What is wellness?’ ‘Why is it growing?’ and ‘What does it really mean?’ In the ‘Understanding Wellness’ series, we want to answer these questions because a common language for and basic understanding of wellness can help bridge the divide with other industries and disciplines and broaden its applications and impacts.”
This first paper, The Global Forces Driving the Growth of the Wellness Economy, cites the first macro force as: ‘The world’s population is growing sicker, lonelier and older’. It notes that deteriorating health, the spread of loneliness and mental illness, and the ramifications of ageing all negatively impact people’s happiness and wellbeing. In response, consumers around the world are proactively turning to wellness approaches as alternatives to address these challenges.
Explaining the second macro factor – ‘The environmental crisis is also a health crisis’ – the paper states: “Environmental degradation and its causes are bringing immediate, direct, severe and widespread harm to human health and wellbeing, from the air we breathe to how we procure and consume food to how we live and travel. As people become aware of these risks, they’re seeking out alternative lifestyles that are simultaneously healthier for themselves and more sustainable for the planet.
The fact that health systems are failing to keep up while the economic burden rises is cited as the third macro factor driving the growth of the wellness economy.
Lastly, demographics, value systems and lifestyles are all evolving toward wellness. States the White Paper: “Consumer values are changing fast, moving toward a lifestyle of wellness that is fundamentally shifting consumer behaviours and consumption patterns. This shift is bolstered by the rise of the middle class, urbanisation, the accessibility of so many new options, and a burgeoning concern about the impact of ubiquitous technology.”
For more information visit www.globalwellnessinstitute.org.