New Study by UNiDAYS shows Gen Z Redefines Health and Wellness

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According to a survey of more than 12,000 of its student members across the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand, UNiDAYS found that Gen Z believes in a holistic approach to health, incorporating physical fitness, healthy eating and mental well-being.

Study show GEN Z likes to eat healthy and track exercise on technology devices

“Generation Z commands up to $143 billion in U.S. spending power, and this offers a huge opportunity to marketers looking to capture this audience as customers,” said Alex Gallagher UNiDAYS chief strategy officer.

New Year’s resolutions are staged to be more interesting this year as Gen Z, soon to be the largest group of consumers in the U.S., takes over. This group of teens and young adults believe healthfulness is more than losing a few pounds or hitting the gym.

According to a survey of more than 12,000 of its student members across the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand, UNiDAYS found that Gen Z believes in a holistic approach to health, incorporating physical fitness, healthy eating and mental well-being. This group of digital natives also uses technology to support wellness, with 65 percent of respondents using workout apps, often instead of expensive gym memberships. A majority of respondents also use food tracking or diet apps, and 28 percent depend on wearable technology to track workouts and eating.

Other top findings include Gen Z’s focus on mental health -- 72 percent say managing stress and mental health is their most important health and wellness concern and 60 percent believe getting enough sleep is important. They are also overwhelmingly healthy eaters - 68 percent say eating a well-balanced diet as critical. Though 41 percent say they eat fast food at least weekly, that doesn’t necessarily mean fries and burgers. For Gen Z, “fast food” can also mean quick, healthy, on-the-go meal options, such as salads, which 32 percent of respondents say is the go-to healthy meal.

“Generation Z commands up to $143 billion in U.S. spending power, and this offers a huge opportunity to marketers looking to capture this audience as customers,” said Alex Gallagher chief strategy officer. “Health and fitness brands that want to capture their share need to abandon their categories and mirror Gen Z’s holistic approach that incorporates physical and mental fitness, healthy eating, and bridges both digital and physical realms.”

Additional Survey Findings:

  • Forty-three percent of respondents work out at home, with only 23 percent using a student recreational facility. Yet, 61 percent of respondents say they’d take advantage of fitness classes if student pricing plans were offered.
  • Forty-nine percent work out one to three times a week. Weights and cardio are the top workouts for both men and women.
  • Forty-three percent discover new health clubs through blogs and influencers, compared to only 25 percent who find them from TV commercials. Seventy-one percent discover new eateries and find new fitness opportunities through social media. Thirty-three percent find new places to eat through blogs and influencers.
  • Eighty-two percent get tips on new restaurants and 64 percent find new gyms from family and friends.
  • Fifty-two percent would subscribe to a healthy meal delivery service if it were available.
  • The most popular diet trends for Gen Z men and women are high protein, low carb diets.

For restaurant marketers, Gen Z names salad (32 percent), a smoothie (20 percent), a wrap (19 percent), sushi (16 percent), and a bowl (8 percent) as their top healthy food picks. Forty-one percent eat fast food at least weekly, but as the results show, burgers and fries are not necessarily on the menu. For Gen Z-ers, fast food can also mean quick and healthy.

Additional U.S.- Specific Survey Findings:

  • Eighty-five percent named money/finances as their top worry.
  • Almost 75 percent of respondents said managing stress and mental health is their biggest health and wellness concern.
  • Over 80 percent work out at home or at their school’s gym.
  • Most (49 percent) said weights and cardio are their favorite form of exercise.
  • Sixty-six percent use an app to track their workouts.
  • High protein (44 percent) and low carb (39 percent) are the most popular diet.
  • Over 80 percent learn about new restaurants from friends and family.
  • Sixty-eight percent use social media to learn about new fitness opportunities.

About UNiDAYS
UNiDAYS is the world's leading Student Affinity Network. Today, UNiDAYS connects brands to more than 10 million Gen Z college students around the world, giving them the power to make every experience more valuable and rewarding. The UNiDAYS award-winning marketing platform provides student verification technology and integrated marketing solutions to some of the world's most recognizable brands, including Levi's, Adidas and Samsung. Founded in 2011 by CEO Josh Rathour, and headquartered in Nottingham, U.K., UNiDAYS also has offices in London, New York and Sydney. UNiDAYS was honored as one of the top ten fastest-growing companies in the UK by the Sunday Times Tech Track 100. For more information, visit http://www.myunidays.com/genz

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Ellen Hartman

Ellen Hartman
Hartman PR
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