Curated Content from the Global Wellness Institute | August 26, 2020


 Expert Q&A: Nicola Finley, MD–The Wellness Disconnect for Black Communities
 A Mental Health Crisis Is Surging–And the Wellness Industry Has a Big Role to Play
 Survey: The Pandemic Is Changing Young Generations’ Wellness Behaviors
 Study: Obesity Hurts the Brain
 Master Class: Thierry Malleret on “Wellbeing as a Net Winner in the Post-Pandemic Era”
 The Moonshot for September: RENEW
 Must-Reads from the Wellness World

Expert Q&A: Nicola Finley, MD–The Wellness Disconnect for Black Communities 

The GWI recently released a “Wellness in the Age of COVID-19” Q&A with Dr. Nicola Finley, who practices integrative medicine at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, and who worked for a decade with economically disadvantaged Black and brown communities there.

Dr. Finley discusses
  • How people of color have not felt sufficiently seen, heard or valued by the wellness industry—and how COVID-19 exposes why we must now double down on racial inequities in access to wellness.
  • How Black communities can have a very different concept of “wellness” than the one served up by the media.
  • How the spa/wellness industry could better serve women of color.
  • How this pandemic will change the wellness market. 
Read her important insights here.


A Mental Health Crisis Is Growing– And the Wellness Industry Has a Big Role to Play
By Thierry Malleret, economist

The psychological impact of the pandemic is becoming ever more apparent. For instance, more than 1 in 2 Americans assert that COVID-19 is taking a significant toll on their mental health. Michelle Obama even revealed that she was experiencing “low-grade depression” caused by the confinement and the deteriorating political climate (itself exacerbated by the pandemic).
The wellness industry has an important role to play in forging a constructive response to this worsening mental health crisis. It needs to publicize more aggressively what works—whether conscious breathing, listening to calming music, or lowering your body temperature—all accessible, proven stress reducers.

Survey: The Pandemic Is Changing Young Generations’ Wellness Behavior


A new survey from VICE Media (people aged 16–39 from 30 countries) sheds interesting light on how COVID-19 is driving new attitudes—and more investment in—health and wellness among millennials and Gen Z.

Young people report that they’re much more dedicated to their wellness since COVID-19 and that it’s their mental wellbeing (even more than their medical wellbeing) that they consider the most important element of their health. Mental wellness has significantly grown in importance since the crisis, and they’re taking action: One in five has added a meditation practice.

We could see a big increase in investment in physical health: 52% say they will spend more time—and 20% plan to spend more money—on fitness post-COVID. But workouts look to change: 47% will exercise at home, skipping gyms and in-person classes. Outdoor (and simple) fitness will surge: 64% plan to make walking and running, 38% cycling, and 35% hiking, central to their post-pandemic workout routine.

More than half of millennials/Gen Z report that science-backed health and wellness info now becomes more important. And 60% believe that “the way we take care of our health will be the most lasting societal change after this pandemic.”


Study: Obesity Hurts the Brain

A new study from Johns Hopkins and the University of California, Irvine found that people with a higher body mass index have less blood flowing to their brain, which might explain why obesity is tied to Alzheimer’s risk. Performing brain scans on 17,721 men and women, they discovered that the higher the BMI, the lower the blood flow to five regions of the brain that are especially vulnerable in Alzheimer’s disease: the temporal lobes, the parietal lobes, the hippocampus, the posterior cingulate and the precuneus.  


Masterclass: Thierry Malleret on “Wellbeing as a Net Winner in the Post-Pandemic Era”


Anyone in the business of wellness should mark their calendars for Wednesday, September 9 (9:30–10:30 AM EDT) for a GWS master class from Thierry Malleret, co-founder of the Monthly Barometer. Malleret will present on how wellness looks to be a major winner post-COVID-19, and what that means for different sectors of the global wellness economy.

GWI’s partner economist Malleret also founded the Global Risk Network at the World Economic Forum; was educated at the Sorbonne, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and Oxford; and holds a PhD in economics. 


The Moonshot for September: RENEW

The world was already in a burnout crisis pre-pandemic, and now the pressure on people has skyrocketed, eroding our mental health; creating imbalances in our lives and work; influencing potential epigenetic changes linked to everything from inflammation to infertility; and revealing inequities in medical care, employment, and other key social determinants of our health. (Children particularly feel the brunt of this pandemic.)

For September, The Wellness Moonshot offers strategies on how you can intentionally renew your mind, body and spirit, and help others do the same. LEARN HOW


Must-Reads from the Wellness World

Air pollution is much worse than we thoughtVOX, August 12, 2020
Why every brand now needs to behave like a health and wellness...Fast Company, Aug. 11, 2020
Why work from home when you can work from Barbados...New York Times, Aug.19, 2020
Here are 5 skills researchers say employers are looking for...–World Economic Forum, Aug.13, 2020
Jared Diamond, Why nations fail or succeed when facing a crisisNoéma, July 28, 2020

A Striking Stat: Our Quiet, COVID-19 Planet

The global lockdown has represented the longest period of planetary quiet in recorded history, revealing how much noise humans contribute to the environment.

Source: 76 academic researchers who studied seismic monitoring stations around the world from March through May.

Read more at MIT Technology Review

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