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Spending on wellness linked to happiness and greater longevity says new GWI report
By Katie Barnes 01 Nov 2022
Johnston revealed the new research at the Global Wellness Summit in Tel Aviv Credit: Global Wellness Institute
For every US$800 (€806, £694) annual increase in people’s wellness expenditures, happiness levels rise by seven per cent and life expectancy goes up by 1.26 years, according to a study released today (1 November) by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).

The figures were revealed at the Global Wellness Summit which is currently underway in Tel Aviv, Israel and are the topline stats for its new Defining Wellness Policy research.

The report, co-authored by GWI senior researchers Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung, argues that wellness should be accessible to all – not just an elite few.

In order to bridge this gap, our industry needs to define a ‘wellness policy’ that governments, civil servants, businesses and members of the public can all adopt and act upon. And this is the basis of the 40-plus page report.

The GWI says this is the first research to define wellness policy and make a compelling, evidence-backed argument as to why it’s so direly needed.

It explains how wellness policy can complement, but also fill the glaring gaps left by, both current public health policy and new happiness and wellbeing policy efforts, as well as address the serious gaps in the sick-care-focused medical system and the private sector wellness industry (including the majority of spas) that clearly doesn’t cater to everyone.

In addition, it gives a quantitative analysis of the relationship between wellness spending, happiness and health outcomes across countries for the first-time ever.

It’s this analysis that has uncovered the strong, positive association between wellness spending and increased happiness and longevity. The results are adjusted for wealth/income levels, meaning that the link is representative of all people rather than those who are the most affluent.

“As we dived into this research, it quickly became obvious that health and wellness should be embedded in the priorities for all policymaking,” says Johnston. “As compared to sustainability – which has been in policy conversations for so long – it’s astonishing that no one has talked about wellness as a comprehensive, cross-cutting policy category in government circles.

“The health of people should be paramount, just like the health of the planet, and really, the two go hand-in-hand.”

Wellness policy, according to the report, spans seven ‘wellness domains’
  • Wellness in the Built Environment
  • Wellness at Work
  • Wellness in Tourism
  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Mental Wellness
  • Traditional & Complementary Medicine

“All of these assets can only be protected by government policy,” says Johnston. “We should no longer see governments as the enemy, they are a vital part of delivering on wellness.”

Over the next 12 months, these domains will be the focus of a series of GWI Wellness Policy Toolkits which address the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ in each area. Why is there a need for wellness policy action in each of the domains? How can stakeholders take action to address the issues and gaps?

Johnston concludes: “We hope that this study and GWI’s upcoming toolkits will kickstart a global conversation and more research in this area.”

Download a free copy of the report in full here.


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Spa Life International
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NEWS
Spending on wellness linked to happiness and greater longevity says new GWI report
POSTED 01 Nov 2022 . BY Katie Barnes
Johnston revealed the new research at the Global Wellness Summit in Tel Aviv Credit: Global Wellness Institute
Health and wellness should be embedded in the priorities for all policymaking
– Katherine Johnston, senior researcher, GWI
For every US$800 (€806, £694) annual increase in people’s wellness expenditures, happiness levels rise by seven per cent and life expectancy goes up by 1.26 years, according to a study released today (1 November) by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).

The figures were revealed at the Global Wellness Summit which is currently underway in Tel Aviv, Israel and are the topline stats for its new Defining Wellness Policy research.

The report, co-authored by GWI senior researchers Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung, argues that wellness should be accessible to all – not just an elite few.

In order to bridge this gap, our industry needs to define a ‘wellness policy’ that governments, civil servants, businesses and members of the public can all adopt and act upon. And this is the basis of the 40-plus page report.

The GWI says this is the first research to define wellness policy and make a compelling, evidence-backed argument as to why it’s so direly needed.

It explains how wellness policy can complement, but also fill the glaring gaps left by, both current public health policy and new happiness and wellbeing policy efforts, as well as address the serious gaps in the sick-care-focused medical system and the private sector wellness industry (including the majority of spas) that clearly doesn’t cater to everyone.

In addition, it gives a quantitative analysis of the relationship between wellness spending, happiness and health outcomes across countries for the first-time ever.

It’s this analysis that has uncovered the strong, positive association between wellness spending and increased happiness and longevity. The results are adjusted for wealth/income levels, meaning that the link is representative of all people rather than those who are the most affluent.

“As we dived into this research, it quickly became obvious that health and wellness should be embedded in the priorities for all policymaking,” says Johnston. “As compared to sustainability – which has been in policy conversations for so long – it’s astonishing that no one has talked about wellness as a comprehensive, cross-cutting policy category in government circles.

“The health of people should be paramount, just like the health of the planet, and really, the two go hand-in-hand.”

Wellness policy, according to the report, spans seven ‘wellness domains’
  • Wellness in the Built Environment
  • Wellness at Work
  • Wellness in Tourism
  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Mental Wellness
  • Traditional & Complementary Medicine

“All of these assets can only be protected by government policy,” says Johnston. “We should no longer see governments as the enemy, they are a vital part of delivering on wellness.”

Over the next 12 months, these domains will be the focus of a series of GWI Wellness Policy Toolkits which address the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ in each area. Why is there a need for wellness policy action in each of the domains? How can stakeholders take action to address the issues and gaps?

Johnston concludes: “We hope that this study and GWI’s upcoming toolkits will kickstart a global conversation and more research in this area.”

Download a free copy of the report in full here.
Credit: Global Wellness Institute
Credit: Global Wellness Institute
Credit: Global Wellness Institute
MORE NEWS
US spa industry hits record-breaking US$21.3 billion in revenue in 2023
The US spa industry is continuing its upward trajectory, achieving an unprecedented milestone with a record-breaking revenue of US$21.3 billion in 2023, surpassing the previous high of US$20.1 billion in 2022.
Immediate rewards can motivate people to exercise, finds new research
Short-term incentives for exercise, such as using daily reminders, rewards or games, can lead to sustained increases in activity according to new research.
Shannon Malave appointed spa director at Mohonk Mountain House
Spa and wellness veteran Shannon Malave has been named spa director at iconic US spa destination Mohonk Mountain House.
Six Senses unveils urban wellness retreat in Kyoto inspired by Japanese Zen culture
Six Senses Kyoto opens its doors today, marking the eco-luxury hotel and spa operator’s entry into Japan and a new addition to its urban collection.
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