Lab 4 – Health

One is tempted to say that health is not what it used to be. The way in which body and health are portrayed in the media also pictures the generation that cultivates it. After our 4th Millennial Lab workshop, we can fully conclude that there is a greater focus today on exercising, eating healthy and watching out for any signs of disease. Studies show that Millennials are getting older, and our interviews show that they have a much greater awareness of health.

Health vs. beauty

Health is many things. Health is being well, to be free of any disease, to be mentally healthy, to feel beautiful and comfortable in your own body and have self-control. Many definitions were expressed by our participants. Today, you can not talk Millennials and health without getting around the insta-chia-seed post-training-pre-wellness culture. Because even though a few participants could identify themselves with practising wellness in the classical sense, the way people practise health signals that you have a grip on life. For this generation, beauty and self-control equal a healthy lifestyle. But the more filter perfect pictures that appear on one’s instagram feed, the greater the pressure is to be able to display the same control in life.

Unfortunately, we must also note that although Millennials apparently have healthy bodies, the same may not apply to their minds? Perhaps that is why we pay tribute to advertising that challenge the ideal body. When our participants describe a “setback”,” it means, “not to live up to the society and one’s own ideals.” Thus, there is a need for brands that focus on diversity and the nuances of health. Here’s the opportunity to give Millennials a breathing space, while creating longer-term relationships with them as consumers.

Palæo, LCHF, 2: 5, Endomondo, Kemiluppen

Millennials have grown up in a time when truth is becoming increasingly relative and everyone might be in the right. A cure with strict rules or self-tracing apps of all kinds provide Millennials with a focus and a firm reference point. With the media that constantly spreads new “health articles” with one “expert” after another, and where clickbait trumps information, you need something to aim for.

Based on our Millennial Lab workshop, we could not agree on a definition of bodily and mental health. In fact, we did not try either. In the eye’s of one person, health is being well and not sick, for others it is about 3 runs a week and a carefully calculated diet. On the other hand, we can conclude that the Millennial generation is deeply influenced – directly and indirectly – by the media’s production of what is healthy, fair, right and wrong. And the responsibility lies with Millennials themselves as present and future employees, to influence the media in the right direction.