Attitudes to Health: Baby Boomers and Gen Z

Goals

To determine Baby Boomer and Gen Z attitudes towards health and fitness, in order to understand the potential positive impact a personal health plan or program would have on these generations.

Early Findings

Baby Boomers

  • Baby boomers consider exercise a "necessary evil". Out a survey of almost 2,000 participants across Montreal YMCAs, reasons for exercising, such as "mental toughness" and "fun and friends", decreased as age increased. This demonstrates how the boomer generation do not exercise out of enjoyment, but because they feel like it's something they have to do.
  • The most regular gym users in the UK are baby boomers, going eight times a month. This comes from knowledge that keeping fit and healthy helps with aging well.
  • A survey of over 55s looking to join the gym showed that 55% were interested in improving their fitness, while almost a fifth wanted to join to improve or alleviate an existing medical condition and almost a quarter were looking to control their weight.
  • 64% of baby boomers report to exercise weekly.
  • Baby boomers look for prevention of falls, memory loss and other declines in quality of life; they seek control over their health, such as managing blood pressure and arthritis; they want to reverse the effects of aging, and they want to retain their independence and current lifestyle.
  • Baby boomers are looking for more mature personal trainers that they can relate to. Older trainers may understand that they do not care as much about their appearance but more about tackling the problems that arise with age and retaining the ability to carry out daily activities.

Gen Z

  • Technology is important in Gen Zers' lives, including their health and wellness practices. They do not hesitate to look up health and wellness questions online when they have them. Technology is also important for finding inspiration and workout plans.
  • Gen Zers take a holistic approach to health, with the goal to have balance between physical well being but also social and mental well being. Good health, for them, is both looking and feeling good.
  • Exercise is not only used to manage physical conditions, such as weight issues, but also a key stress management technique. Gen Zers use exercise to manage depression and sleep disorders, among other mental conditions.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Gen Zers feel stressed about their health and well being, despite three quarters of them feeling as if they are in control of their health.
  • Only 12% of Gen Zers use health and wellness technology on a daily basis. According to this survey, they have no interest in this technology as they feel like health apps or technology isn't designed with their age range in mind.
  • Technology encourages exercise more subtly. The app Pokémon Go turned exercise into a game by encouraging users to walk more. Generally, players had a 25% increase in physical activity.

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