New Year. New Goals.

 

Lindsay Simone

 

Lindsay Simone

Director, Health & wellness

Looking for ways to be healthy and meet your goals this year? As Director of Health and Wellness for the Trust, I recently had the pleasure of presenting several rising wellness trends at the ACEC Fall Conference. Try out some of the latest trends for 2022!

 

22. Wearable technology offers personalized support to help you develop healthy habits. It can now measure heart rate, body temperature and blood oxygen, and can even show an EKG. And yes, there are even technology-based yoga pants to help perfect your poses.

21. Group challenges offer competition and gamification through programs like CrossFit and Orangetheory, pushing us to do things that seem outside our limits. For instance, Orangetheory has a leaderboard to show how you stack up to the rest of class.

20. Sleep is crucial to health, and many exciting products can help. For people with sleep apnea, the new Inspire medical implant eliminates the need for bulky CPAP devices. Others can customize sleep settings with options like the Sleep Number bed or track the time you spend in light, deep and REM sleep using the Oura Ring.

19. Cost transparency is a rising concern – just as you wouldn’t pay $5 per gallon for gas if the station next door was selling it for $2 per gallon, you want to be able to compare costs for medical services, too. We’ve recently partnered with Healthcare Bluebook, a tool that helps our members find the highest quality medical service at the lowest cost.

18. Home health kits help you delve deeper into your health from home! Genetics testing kits, like 23andMe and Ancestry, have grown in popularity, and now even more specialized tools are hitting the market, like at-home food sensitivity and allergy testing through Everlywell or at-home colon cancer screening with Cologuard.

17. Chronic disease management has become even more important, as underlying health conditions are associated with high-risk COVID-19 cases. For diabetes management, there’s the continuous glucose monitor that eliminates the need for finger pricking and smartphone apps can help you keep up with daily habits like medication adherence.

16. Artificial intelligence is rapidly expanding to help manage health, particularly mental health. Addicaid offers custom treatment plans and personal support for people struggling with addiction. Woebot allows you to text a digital therapy robot and then provides feedback and therapies. And your smartphone camera can measure some of your health vitals and even your stress level through technology like Binah.ai.

15. Intuitive eating focuses on mindfulness and balance instead of strict fad diets. Programs like Noom or Wondr Health help you better understand your relationship with food and give you the knowledge and support you need for long-lasting change.

14. Financial wellness programs have become increasingly popular, especially with the increasing burden of student debt and financial hardships due to the pandemic. Programs like Enrich, nudge and Financial Peace University are helping employees reduce money-related stress by teaching them to budget and plan for long-term financial health.

13. Caregiver support services offer resources for those who are overwhelmed caring for aging parents or other loved ones with serious medical conditions. Companies like CareMore Health, Cariloop and Aspire Health Plan offer one-on-one support and assistance.

12. Digital fitness memberships boomed during the pandemic, but it appears the trend is here to stay. Peloton has been a leader in the space, but there are a number of rising competitors: Apple now has Apple Fitness + and Lululemon offers fitness mirror technology and a streaming service.

11. Mental health benefits have gained a spotlight during the pandemic, and employers are looking for ways to support mental health in the workplace. The latest offerings include mental health teletherapy, messaging apps and mental health days.

10. Flexible work arrangements are more popular post-pandemic. As we get back into the physical workplace, many employers are offering a hybrid environment, with more mental health days or specified time for working from home.

9. Wellness-focused vacations are more popular than ever, with all-inclusive wellness hotels and retreats and destinations focused on fitness. Even on your next business trip, you could stay at a Hilton, where Five Feet to Fitness rooms offer amenities such as spin bikes, weights and TRX equipment right in your room.

8. Meditation apps are now used by more than 3 million people across the world to unwind and enhance mental and emotional well-being. Some popular providers include Headspace, Calm and Whil, who we’ve partnered with for the Trust’s Designed Wellness program.

7. Screen time is a concern for many. While many apps offer wellness benefits, our smartphones can also be addictive, reduce productivity, and even cause eye or neck strain, so many people are trying digital detoxes. You can use a screen time app to help track and manage your use.

6. Cooking at home also gained popularity during lockdown when many people realized it could be a huge cost savings. Easy home meal kits – like Blue Apron and HelloFresh – deliver fresh, measured ingredients to your home. Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market help reduce food waste by delivering “ugly” but high-quality produce for affordable prices.

5. Ergonomics has proved crucial as many of us working from home opted for the couch instead of a desk chair, only to suffer back or neck pain as a result. More companies are investing in ergonomics assessments and designing their workplaces to help employees avoid injuries at work and be more efficient and productive.

4. Prescription delivery is another popular convenience that has evolved to include broader options, including Capsule and Amazon Pharmacy, and even your standard Walgreens or CVS location is likely to be delivering these days.

3. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)is increasingly popular, as almost 50% of Americans say they have tried practices that are considered to be outside of conventional medicine, such as Chinese medicine, massage, acupuncture and cupping – some even consider prayer as CAM.

2. Family planning, and conceiving in particular, is challenging for 1 in 8 American couples, but there is help through technology like the Ava bracelet, which helps a woman determine her optimal time to conceive, and Ovia Health that provides guidance for fertility, pregnancy and parenting. Some employers are even providing benefits through partnerships with fertility clinics like Maven.

1. Focus on prevention is our number one trend, because it reduces the risk for diseases, disabilities and death – yet millions of people in the United States don't get recommended preventive health care services. This year, don’t forget your screenings, dental checkups and exams specific for your age and gender. They can even earn you cash incentives, if you’re a member of the Trust!

 

 

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