How consumers' attitudes to wellness are changing
By The Futures Company, 2012
During the middle of the last century, there was a fundamental shift in the way we think about total health. It moved from eradicating disease to achieving multi-dimensional well-being.
Yet healthcare systems still focused more on sickness. The result, ever since the World Health Organization's (WHO) radical redefinition of health in 1948 as ‘complete physical, mental and social well-being', has been a tension between intent and delivery.
The WHO's ambition has become an orthodoxy, but its 1948 vision means the majority of us would be classified as unhealthy most of the time.
The pressures of modern living make complete mental well-being impossible at times, even though we may be in peak physical condition. Those with chronic conditions such as diabetes would fail on physical health, even though they may be in control of their condition, and mentally and socially well.
The alternatives acknowledge instead that people do not expect to have it all when it comes to well-being. They do, though, want to have control and agency over its various dimensions, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, in order to cope with the pressures of everyday life.
The four themes are:
- Reframing mental health
- Search for new solutions
- Coping with risk
- Securing the future
With this in mind, this Future Perspective identifies four high-level global themes that will have a critical influence on consumer attitudes to well-being and the approaches that these open up for companies.
To read the full report, download Reframing well-being
(pdf, 1.8 Mb)