Millennials are the largest generation in the US and account for 72.1 million people. A millennial is someone born between 1981 and 1996. Statistical data indicates they are less health conscious, but more mental health conscious than previous generations. However, they were also born in the Great Recession, and most of them have a huge amount of debt.
Younger millennials grew up online and tend to live hectic lives. A recent study by Blue Cross Blue Shield found that one-third of millennials have health conditions. Millennials are one of the unhealthiest generations in the history of the United States. Depression, diabetes, obesity, and various other chronic conditions impact a whopping 40% of all adults in the US. Between 2014 and 2017, depression rates surged by 31%, and hypertension increased by 16%.
The millennial generation is developing chronic health conditions at an alarming rate. 75% of annual health expenditures are spent on chronic disease in the US. However, as healthcare costs soar, the average millennial income has reduced by nearly $4,500 per person annually. While millennials desperately need healthcare, most of them do not earn enough to afford it.
Effects of the Pandemic
The pandemic introduced changes and restrictions across the world. Many hospitals postponed all elective treatments and dedicated their resources to covid patients. As a result, many people used Google for health advice or booked a virtual appointment with their doctor. However, some problems like temporary hearing loss can be easy to overlook and needs a physical examination to determine the cause and problem.
A staggering 41% of millennials preferred seeing their doctor virtually compared to in-person appointments. Telemedicine allowed doctors to see patients quickly and safely during the lockdown period. Virtual healthcare is likely to continue as we head into the post-pandemic era.
Mental Health Awareness
Millennials are more aware of the importance of mental health and pay attention to their mental state. The surge in depression rates may be down to an increased awareness of the condition as more people are willing to seek treatment. Millennials are proactive with their mental health and are more likely to seek help than previous generations.
Millennial employees want to see their employers introducing mental health support and training in the workplace. Open discussions about mental health can be extremely effective both in and out of the workplace. Many millennials are keen to remove the stigma around mental health so that more people can get the help they need. The millennial generation is arguably the first generation to improve the mental health landscape and change attitudes toward it.
Physical Health and Inactivity
The digital generation is less active and spends significant amounts of time sitting on their laptops. Millennials appear to be more conscious of their mental wellbeing than their physical health.