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  • Kristen Nickels, MS, RDN, LD

New Year, New Trends: Health and Wellness in 2022

The year 2021 was one of continued chaos for people around the world. Daily lives were impacted on an ongoing basis, and people continued to think about their health in new ways. With a new year upon us, we’re still experiencing all that was 2021 (and 2020!) while simultaneously looking forward to new growth, including continued focus on individual and community health. Check out 2022’s anticipated health trends below (including the Honorable Mentions), and let us know: What will be your focus this year?



Telehealth


While it’s been around awhile, we know that telehealth really exploded onto the scene in early 2020. It seems that people are happy with virtual healthcare visits and will continue to utilize them. Virtual visits are often more convenient than in-person visits, and they also allow people in remote and understaffed areas to access potentially lifesaving healthcare that was previously unavailable to them.


Wearable Technology


What is meant by wearable technology? “Wearables” are electronic devices, usually worn as accessories, that track things like heart rate and sleep patterns and then provide feedback to the user. The Apple Watch and Fitbit are two popular examples. With countless health and fitness apps available today, and a growing interest in personal health information and technology in general, “wearables” will continue to be hot on the scene.


Social Media Boundaries


Social media is great for connecting with others, but we’ve all heard about potential problems with overuse, especially as it relates to mental health. For example, social media can get in the way of personal obligations and productivity, and it can contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression. This year, consider setting some boundaries with social media if you think it might be helpful.



Mental Health


Speaking of mental health, it continues to be an increasing priority. It’s no secret that the pandemic has been mentally challenging for so many people, and the stigma that’s long been associated with less-than-perfect mental health continues to be reduced, especially as public figures come forward discussing their struggle. Let this be the year that we can all seek and have access to the help that we need. Check out our previous post, “Mental Health for Truck Drivers,” HERE.


Some of these projected trends may be more likely to flourish than others. Telehealth and technology are surely here to stay, whereas actually attending to social media, mental health, and food waste could flop. In addition to the above, the following Honorable Mentions may also receive some attention, some of which is continued from last year and the year before: gut health, stress management, the immune system, and sleep. Check out our previous posts on stress management and the immune system, and stay tuned for a post all about sleep.


Now, tell us, what will be your focus this year? Would you add anything to these lists? Comment to let us know!