Millennials appear more health and wellness-focused, especially on social media. Young people seem to be making a conscious decision to eat healthily and exercise regularly.
Prioritizing wellness goes beyond social media trends. Millennials have an overall healthier lifestyle than the generations before them.
Armed with the most recent technology, they are better aware of the state of their health. They use wearable devices and smartphone apps to keep track of their diet, their fitness level, their sleep, and anything related to their health.
However, Millennials are not investing their hard-earned money in healthcare.
Millennials on Healthcare
Millennials indeed take better care of their bodies than Gen-Xers and Boomers but, according to a study, they are scheduling appointments with a doctor for preventative tests and monitoring less frequently.
Instead, they wait until they get sick to visit a healthcare provider. They go to retail clinics and urgent care facilities to receive diagnosis and treatment.
For comparison, older Americans are used to having a family doctor that they rely on for years and even decades. Millennials do not have a similar relationship with healthcare providers.
The number of Millennials who do not have a health insurance policy is rising, too, in the United States. Although older Millennials (those born in the ’80s) are approaching their 40s, the percentage of those who are uninsured rose from 11% in 2016 to 16% in 2018. Meanwhile, the number of Millennials who have Medicaid went down from 14% in 2016 to 11% in 2018. Medicare membership, on the other hand, went down from 3% to 2% in two years.
Millennials Aging Poorly
Millennials are enjoying the best health compared to the generations before them. According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS Association), Millennials have a health index of 95.1 in their younger years. However, they are not faring well as they grow older.
The study, which looked at 55 million American millennials who are commercially insured, are lagging behind Gen-Xers and Boomers. They are experiencing a higher incidence of health conditions compared to the previous two generations before them when they were the same age.
BCBS Association listed down the top 10 health conditions that are on the rise among American Millennials. These health conditions include major depression, substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, tobacco use disorder, hypertension, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, hyperactivity, psychotic disorders, and Chron’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Mental Health Conditions Prevalent Among Millennials
Experts in public health name social media as a primary driver for the rise in behavioral disorders among Millennials. Seeing their peers live a good life creates constant pressure to do better at work, in personal relationships, and others. FOMO, or fear of missing out, is causing so much stress, and it negatively affects the health of Millennials.
Loneliness, as a result of people spending more of their time looking at a screen, is also on the rise not just in the U.S. but around the world. This is causing a strain on the mental health of Millennials.
Financial Difficulties Prevent Millennials from Investing in Health
Money is one of the reasons why Millennials are not aging as healthily as the generations before them.
Although Millennials are set to dominate the workforce in just a few years, they have yet to reach their full earning potential.
Many of them are also still being held back by student loan debt. An increasing number of them are also dealing with credit card debt.
Millennials think that they may never be able to reach the same material milestones that their parents enjoyed in the past, like doing their dream job, buying a house, or retiring early.
Also, many Millennials are choosing to spend their hard-earned money on experiences rather than save or invest. You will most likely find them in concerts and festivals, in another country, back in school learning a new language, etc. They prioritize traveling and collecting memories over other expenses.
No Access to Healthcare
These financial difficulties prevent Millennials from seeking help, even if they need to. Psychotherapy, in particular, remains out of reach for many young people who are experiencing mental health problems.
Millennials know the importance of eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and sleeping soundly at night. Health, to this generation, is a lifestyle choice rather than a cure for illness or a way to lose weight.
However, many Millennials are also not getting proper care to prevent and treat health conditions. As a result, more of them experience illnesses, including major depression. Excessive social media use and financial limitations are stopping Millennials from investing more of their income toward healthcare.