7 Trends You Need To Know From The GWS’ ‘Future Of Wellness’ Report

Young Caucasian woman in the swimming pool with view of Kuala Lumpur

The Global Wellness Summit, the arguably most authoritative voice in the wellness industry, has released its ‘Future Of Wellness 2021’ trend report. It’s an outline of what it believes will only grow over the coming year. Forecasts from expert doctors, academics, journalists, economists and industry leaders set a roadmap for what should be our top line priorities, many of which we are already seeing you implement into your businesses today.

This is going to be a long one, so let’s jump straight into it. Here are seven trends that are on our radar in 2021, as outlined in the GSW’s Future Of Wellness 2021′.

1. Watchable wellness

Wellness will have a bigger focus in mainstream media. We are talking streamable content on Netflix and Spotify and personalised experiences through wearable technology. TV series like the critically-acclaimed Goop Lab is just the tip of the iceberg for wellness programming, and companies are pouring funds into creating high-quality and meaningful content. In fact, Spotify headed up John Legend to create original wellness music for the platform. Coupled with high-production quality means the next binge-able Netflix series might be less Bridgeton and more Breathing Meditation.

2. Balancing not boosting

Expect to see a paradigm shift from boosting to balancing. It may seem like rudimentary knowledge to most, but exercise, sleep and stress-reduction are the best ways to boost your immune system, not slickly marketed health gummies. The focus on nourishing the immune system will take a significant spotlight in a post-vaccine world. Research is continually showing the connection between metabolic ill health (things like obesity and diabetes) and immune dysfunction. The focus on gut health will continue to grow, and there will be more personalised-testing to identify shortcomings in nutrition. Finally, there is more experimentation in positive stress situations and their impact on health. These are experiences like hot and cold temperatures, high-intensity exercise bursts, and different types of breathwork.

3. Grand designs

Elements of wellness are expected to leach into facets of life that were previously unconsidered. ‘Wellness architecture’ has taken off, focusing on functional design moves that nurture our spirituality. Architects are paying more attention to creating everyday spaces that are sacred, elevate our consciousness and ground us to the word. This spans from blurring the lines between everyday reality and the sacred realm to a revival of ancient practices of Feng Shui or Vastu architecture.

4. Breathe Easy

Clinical studies show growing evidence for something we have known for centuries – the way we breathe has profound effects on mental and physical health. There is a suite of techniques to improve breathing being used overseas. From rock-star personalities bringing breathwork to the masses to club-like breathwork parties in LA. Take a deep-breathe, but it’s set to become bigger.

5. Self-care is healthcare

It’s projected that two complementary but competing entities -healthcare and wellness- will converge. We have touched on this before, but even the dreaded semi-annual dentist trip is becoming rebranded as self-care experience. Wellness is becoming an intrinsic element of health care.

Wellness is becoming an intrinsic element of health care.

6. Adding colour to wellness

Last year’s protests cast a spotlight onto the inequalities Black people face within today’s society, and the wellness space is no exception. In 2021, we hope to dismantle the idea that wellness is only for affluent white people and remove barriers to promoting inclusion. Data shows that Black Americans are more stressed and less healthy compared to their white citizens. Their exclusion from the wellness narrative compounds this, and we will see greater efforts to ensure their voice is heard.

7. Working in wellness

At the height of the pandemic, many moved to WFH to stop the spread of COVID-19. This is expected to become a permeant aspect of work culture where health, safety, and immunity become a top-line priority for employees. Furthermore, hyrbid events will become the standard moving forward.


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