The Millennials, or Generation Y, care less about healthcare and preventive health than Generation X and the Baby Boomers, concludes an analysis by Aon Hewitt. The Millennials not only place less importance on preventive care, they are also the least likely to participate in eating/weight management programs. The consulting firm states that employers should get engaged in the issue and explain the importance of good health today in order to prevent illnesses in the future.
Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon, recently released an analysis on the perspectives, behaviours and attitudes of Millennials* towards health and wellness. The analysis is based on data from the 2014 Consumer Health Mindset report, for which the Aon Hewitt, in cooperation with the National Business Group on Health, and The Futures Company, surveyed 2,700 US employees and their dependents.
The analysis of the consulting firm shows that the Millennials place lower priority on medical care than other generations and are the least likely to participate in activities focused on prevention and maintaining or improving physical health. In the last twelve months, only 54% of the Millennials had a physical, of Generation X 60% and of the Baby Boomers almost three out of four (73%) had themselves examined. Millennials are also less likely to participate in a healthy eating/weight management programs (21%), compared to Generation X (23%) and Baby Boomers (28%). These differences coincide with the importance put on preventive care to stay healthy by the three generations. Of the Millennials just 39% say preventive care is one of the most important things to do to stay healthy, compared to 49% of Generation X and 69% of Baby Boomers. Interesting to note is that the Millennials are the generation most likely to engage in regular exercise (63%), compared to 52% of Generation X and 49% of Baby Boomers.
The lower importance placed on health is something employers should respond to as “the lack of health prevention and maintenance when they’re young may lead to greater health risks as they get older,” explains Ray Baumruk, Employee Research Leader at Aon Hewitt. “Employers should communicate the importance of participating in health related activities now to avoid serious health issues later in life.” Karen Marlo, Vice President at National Business Group on Health, adds: “Employers have a unique opportunity to engage and motivate the Millennial Generation and they are likely to get the strongest results by demonstrating the benefits of establishing healthy habits and behaviours today, not just tomorrow.”
* Millennials (also known as Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort that follows Generation X. The generation is contains people with birth dates ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.