9 Health and Wellness Trends to Watch in 2024
Many people are on the hunt for new and creative ways to live healthier lives, and many follow the global health trends that emerge every year to achieve their goals. These trends usually help people take minor or significant steps toward improving their health. Whether by reducing screen time or incorporating more plant-based foods into their diet, many people want to focus more on their mental and physical well-being.
Health and wellness trends in 2024 can come from anywhere, and it’s surprising to think there may be some popular trends out there you don’t know about. Let’s dive into some of the digital, mental health and food trends we’re going to see this year.
Digital Health Trends
Many people believe that the future of health and wellness will be largely shaped by emerging technologies. New innovations pave the way for more user-friendly, personalized digital health experiences. Here are some of the top digital health and wellness trends people may start adopting.
1. Health Apps
You’ve likely had a health app downloaded on your phone at one point or another. Today, there’s an app for just about anything, including your physical and mental health needs. Some health apps are used for telemedicine, which allows people to access care over their smartphone, tablet or computer.
Telemedicine apps let providers hold an appointment virtually, which is convenient for a wide range of needs. Many telemedicine apps also let patients view their lab results, upcoming appointments and communication with their doctors.
There are plenty of other apps that make it easier for people to track their health, such as those that track sleep throughout the night or track menstrual cycles. These apps can help patients coordinate more effective care with their providers. Many people also use nutrition tracking apps, which help you ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs and incorporating enough fresh foods.
For those who have certain medical conditions, there are apps that provide alarms and reminders for taking medication at the right time of day. Others may prefer to use meditation apps that can help to calm anxiety or induce sleep for a better night’s rest.
2. Tech Gear
While the health care app development sector is growing, there are many other tech breakthroughs that you can take advantage of during the upcoming year. These gadgets include things like fitness trackers, such as wristwatches and monitors. These devices can track your steps, heart rate and other general physical activity details. Some tech gear devices are even waterproof, so you can use them while swimming to track your exercise and keep your health in check.
There are also monitoring devices for those with high cholesterol or high blood pressure. With a wearable monitor, people will get an alert when cholesterol or blood pressure levels are too high, notifying the individual to take their medication or inform their doctor. People with other heart-related conditions can also benefit from monitoring devices because they can gain more independence while staying on top of their health issues.
Other health tech gear you can use from the comfort of your own home includes smart scales, which do so much more than measure your weight. Weight, after all, does not tell the whole story or give you a full picture of your health. Smart scales typically link to an app that can list your muscle mass, bone mass and body fat to give you a more accurate picture of your overall health in between doctor’s appointments.
3. Digital Detoxing
It’s easy to get lost on our smartphones for hours at a time. Most people conduct their entire lives on their mobile devices. From communicating with loved ones to scheduling appointments to writing business emails, it’s common to rely on our phones for most of our needs. The pandemic, which forced many people to isolate and become glued to their phones, has led to a significant rise in screen time. Today, parents and researchers are concerned about how too much time on digital devices may impact young people’s social skills.
Our increased dependency on electronic devices has created a need to distance ourselves, or “detox,” from them. Spending too much time looking at screens can make us feel tired and burned out. In fact, too much time on our phones can negatively impact our sleep and overall health.
Now, more and more people are jumping on the wellness trend of setting screen time limits on their devices, limiting app usage, scheduling tech-free time and muting notifications. These simple practices allow us to rest our minds, recharge and be more present with our loved ones.
Mental Wellness Trends
Since the pandemic, many mental health conditions have increased among Americans, including anxiety, depression and substance use disorder. Thankfully, people are getting more comfortable talking openly about their mental health. As a result, many new mental health trends have developed as a way to help people take control of their mental well-being and lead a more positive life. Here are some examples of popular mental wellness trends.
4. Prioritizing Mental Health
More than one in five adults struggle with mental health issues in the United States. Many people work hard to prioritize their mental health. For example, one study found that over 45% of Americans aim to improve their mental health by taking various breaks throughout their daily activities to help relieve anxiety, depression or stress.
Another survey revealed that people are engaging in well-researched activities to help boost their mental health. They are getting better sleep, committing to daily movement or exercise, and socializing with others more often.
Even something as simple as taking a walk around the block can help us recharge our minds and allow us to get in touch with what we’re feeling or what we need. Most importantly, the amount of people who have sought help or treatment for their mental health issues has increased within the last few years.
Keep in mind that while prioritizing your mental health looks different for everyone, taking the most minor step toward doing something that creates a positive impact in your life can make all the difference. Whether you follow the newest trends in at-home exercise or use an app to schedule mental health breaks, find something that works for your lifestyle.
5. Social Media Boundaries
From adolescents and teenagers to middle-aged adults, everyone struggles with spending too much time on social media. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat have quickly taken over our lives as a way to communicate with others, socialize online, post pictures and videos, and keep up with the latest trends and news. While social media is certainly entertaining, there are several potentially harmful effects of these platforms, such as low self-confidence, cyberbullying and a negative overall impact on one’s mental health.
It can be difficult to break away from these apps since they’re designed to hold your attention. Apps like TikTok have exploded in popularity thanks to quick scrolling features and fast-paced videos. On a global scale, users spent about 147 minutes a day on social media in 2022. On average, Americans alone spend about 1,300 hours per year on social media. That’s over three and a half hours a day. To help set boundaries with these apps, you may want to try setting the following restrictions:
- Limit your screen time with alarms and reminders.
- Schedule times of the day when you can check your social media.
- Unfollow people who do not add positivity to your feed.
- Don’t read or engage with unkind comments.
- Make your accounts private to only friends and family
6. Expansion of Mental Health Services
While seeking mental health treatment is not necessarily a trend, it has become more and more common as at least a quarter of Americans want to actively improve their mental wellness. The expansion of telehealth and teletherapy has made it easier and more accessible for people to get the treatment they need. For instance, those who have young children or busy work schedules may not have time for weekly in-person therapy sessions, but they might be able to commit to online appointments they can attend from home.
Telehealth services have picked up steam since the pandemic, allowing people to get mental health treatment at home or while traveling. This year, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced plans to expand mental and behavioral health services in schools with funding of approximately $25 million. Over the course of the next year, you may see more and more people talking about their experience with mental health counseling.
Trending Health Foods
Nutrition has always been an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Though it looks different for everyone, eating healthy generally consists of incorporating fresh ingredients into one’s daily routine. Certain foods and beverages are always coming and going in popularity — remember when avocado toast was all the rage a few years ago? — but 2024 definitely has some new trends that are worth looking into.
7. Plant-Based Alternatives
Plant-based alternatives are beneficial for reducing environmental impact and helping fight climate change. One study found that there is a growing market potential for plant-based meat alternatives that is expected to expand in the future. This study revealed that more than 80% of respondents had heard of plant-based alternatives to meat but only about 40% consumed it on occasion. There are many different environmental, social and psychological factors that may influence a person’s willingness to try plant-based alternatives.
However, dropping into any popular restaurant or cafe will show you that these options are becoming more and more popular. Most menus now have plant-based alternatives, gluten-free options or vegan meals. Most coffee shops offer alternatives to dairy creamer and milk, such as oat, soy, coconut and almond milk.
If you visit your local grocery store, you’ll likely find dozens of plant-based options in the freezer section, such as burgers, sausage links and chicken nuggets. You can even find plant-based alternatives to eggs, butter, pasta and many other essential items.
8. Functional Beverages
If you’ve recently been to the cold beverage section of your grocery store, you’ve likely seen more and more options appear. You might see items on the shelf like kombucha, immunity shots, teas, shakes and cold-pressed juices. These drinks are gaining popularity as people want to absorb their daily nutrients through beverages in addition to meals. In addition, research suggests that consumers in the U.S. are actually consuming sugary beverages less often than in years past.
Popular health drinks like kombucha, which contain probiotics, are more attractive to consumers. Drinks with fewer calories, less sugar and no artificial colorings or flavorings may also be flying off the shelves faster than traditional sodas this year. Prebiotic sodas are also gaining traction in the nutrition world as people become curious about the potential health and gut benefits of swapping out sugary drinks for different options.
Sparkling tonics and alcohol-free drinks, usually called mocktails, are also refreshing alternatives to alcoholic beverages. This means individuals can enjoy a night with friends while meeting their dietary and lifestyle needs.
9. Environmentally Sustainable Foods
It’s no secret that many consumers want more environmentally friendly options across the board. From reducing plastic packaging to relying more on public transportation to conserving water, many people want actionable ways to fight climate change. As a result, sustainable items are making more of an impact on consumers. For instance, some consumers may only shop with brands that maintain an environmentally sustainable philosophy or that use 100% recyclable packaging. Other shoppers may only want to buy fresh and local ingredients.
Instead of buying over-processed, heavily packaged foods, consumers may seek out sustainability labels or eat in restaurants that chop their ingredients fresh in-house every day. Some people may even feel that eating healthily is synonymous with sustainability. This means that restaurants, grocery stores and brands may start to focus on how they can change their approach to appeal to this trend and contribute to a healthier environment.
Incorporate Fresh and Healthy Meals Into Your Wellness Routine With Salata Salad Kitchen
As you can see, there are many new wellness trends to keep an eye out for this year. Whether you want to focus on exercising more often or adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, there’s more than one way to make a positive impact on your health. At Salata, we make it easy to live a healthier lifestyle with our fully customizable, nonrestrictive meals.
Our built-to-order salads and wraps are a great way for you to get in a tasty meal with plenty of fresh ingredients. We offer over 50 salad toppings and 11 housemade, gluten-free dressings, so you can build a meal that fits your dietary needs and preferences. If you’re on the go between errands or don’t feel inspired to cook at home, come to Salata and check out our delicious, quick service options. Find a Salata location near you or order online today.