2021 was an important year in our society. It was a year for growth and a year of redefining the role of health and wellness.

As we look ahead to 2022, we should step back and reflect on the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about, and explore the emerging trends and behaviors related to health and wellness. That was a major goal when we commissioned our 2021 Wellth Report– a comprehensive study that details the new priorities, approaches, and obstacles to health and wellness that people have confronted during the pandemic.

Below are several of the study’s fascinating findings, what they mean for you, and why we believe these findings speak to an emerging new frontier – or a “wellness renaissance.”

Health & Wellness is now a top priority

Pre-pandemic health and wellness was, for many, an afterthought. It was common for our health-care approach to treat people when they got sick, rather than focus on prevent them from getting sick. COVID-19 has radically changed that approach.

In our 2021 Wellth Report analysis on COVID-19’s impact, we found that efforts to actively improve health are gaining significant momentum. The study found:

  1. Most adults (89%) have actively tried to improve at least one area of their health, such as mental health or sleep quality, in the past 12 months. 1
  2. Adults continue to prioritize improving their physical health and nutrition, especially their socialization as communities continue to reopen. 1

Although taking care of ourselves, optimizing aspects of our health, and targeting specific goals are now a top priority for communities, our study found significant barriers still remain when it comes to achieving health goals.

Wanting to improve health and wellness – but not knowing where to start 

While wanting to improve their health is now a major goal for U.S. adults navigating the pandemic, many, unfortunately, don’t feel in control of their health. The report found that:

  1. 58% of adults, especially millennials and women, are increasingly concerned about becoming sick.1
  2. In addition, 42% of U.S. adults report less optimism and more uncertainty about their health in a post-pandemic world, with many reporting feeling overwhelmed.1

The report found that two of the biggest areas of concern that have been unsurprisingly exacerbated by the pandemic are stress and sleep – especially among millennials and women.

Getting stress and sleep under control

The pandemic has put huge strains on our sleep quality, and subsequently, our levels of stress. Although it’s no surprise that both stress and poor sleep are on the rise, our report did find the following from those surveyed:

  1. When asked about their health goals for the next six months, many U.S. adults emphasize stress or poor mental health as the root cause of other health problems, including poor sleep, nutrition, family relationships, and overall satisfactory livelihood.1
  2. Only 50% believe they can control the quality of their sleep.1
  3. Only 49% believe they can control the amount of stress they experience.1
  4. Only 40% of millennials believe they can control the quality of their sleep.1
  5. Only 36% of millennials believe they can control the amount of stress they experience.1

Unfortunately, among those who are actively trying to make improvements:

  1. Only 34% who tried to improve their stress level rated their attempts as highly effective.1
  2. Only 31% who tried to improve sleep quality rated their attempts as highly effective.1

So, while most Americans realize the toll the pandemic has had on their sleep and stress levels, and despite actively making it a priority to improve them, many have been left feeling helpless when it comes to actively making improvements.

These results reflect a growing need for a new approach to making health improvements, one that is more targeted, personalized, backed by data, and can bring about real, trackable improvements. Through solutions like Thorne’s at-home Sleep Test and Stress Test, we are offering the capability for individuals to do just that.

These solutions offer evidence-based health recommendations for specific wellness goals, allowing individuals to maintain good health over their lifetime. They are also part of a growing trend – a trend we expect will become even more prominent in the new year. In particular, health solutions will become more personal.

The role of personalized health & wellness 

What did we learn from 2021 – and more importantly, where will what we learned take us in 2022? We know people are eager and ready to live healthier lives, despite the uneasiness that the pandemic will continue into the foreseeable future. Many individuals in the report cited their top goals as improving their mindset, losing weight, eating healthier, and resolving an ongoing health problem.

We also know from the report’s findings that:

  1. 62% of U.S. adults are highly likely to embrace health tools to achieve their health goals.1
  2. The same number said they are very interested in turning to supplements to support their goals, with Gen Z and millennials showing the highest interest.1
  3. Many adults, primarily millennials and women, are significantly more interested in personalized options to achieve their health goals.1

However, as we also learned, individuals face significant barriers when it comes to taking the necessary steps to improve their health. For one, individuals believe it is beyond their control or they aren’t sure where to begin. Furthermore, many believe that despite their efforts, they haven’t achieved any improvement.

The good news in all of this? Personalized options for health goals are actually more accessible than ever. It’s been Thorne’s mission from the very beginning to put the individual first when it comes to health and wellness. We know that to do that, we must address health at the individual level.

It’s why we’ve created a total system of health and wellness that enables individuals to take health into their own hands with a personalized, science-driven approach.

To help individuals overcome the first barrier – feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about where to start – we have created a suite of solutions – from health concern quizzes developed by our medical team to pre-built supplement starter packs that make it easier for an individual to take the first steps to achieving their goals.

For the individual who thinks they can’t control certain areas of their health, or that their efforts can’t succeed, we have created solutions to enable them to take health into their own hands, such as personal health testing. Thorne’s health tests combine data-driven insights with science-backed recommendations, thus allowing individuals to obtain real, actionable steps toward improving specific areas of their health, such as sleep and stress. And they can retest to validate that the steps they’re taking are working – allowing them to live a happier, healthier life.

Welcome to the wellness renaissance

It’s clearer than ever that we are in a “wellness renaissance,” where individuals are fundamentally reimagining what health and wellness means, and their approaches to achieving it. Through Thorne’s world-class research capabilities, we will continue to innovate the data-based solutions, supplements, and wellness services that will help build a new world for health and wellness – a world that is personalized, science-driven, and enable every individual to optimize their health and wellness like never before.


References

  1. Edelman DXI. Thorne Health and Wellness Study: Wave 2 Research Findings. [publication URL]. Published October 2021. Accessed December 2021.