Younger Generations Are Making Healthier Choices Than Boomers. Here’s How


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For a long time, young people heard a certain refrain when it came to making good personal choices: “Listen to your elders.” Those who did this would learn all the sensible decisions they needed to make to stay healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Today, that situation has reversed, and young people are more in tune with making healthy choices than many elders. Here’s our list of healthy choices that younger generations are making that may hold them in better stead than their Boomer counterparts.

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Prioritizing Mental Health

Just a few decades ago, psychiatry and talk therapy were heavily stigmatized and thought to be things you only did if you were a self-indulgent man-baby or a homicidal maniac. Today, that stigma seems to have disappeared for Generation Z. Those born from 1997-2012 seem to be more open to seeking out mental health support and prioritizing their emotional well-being.

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Adopting Plant-Based Diets

While lots of Gen Zers still enjoy a juicy burger, they have very little of the hostility towards plant-based diets present among some in older cohorts. A 2023 report revealed that 65% of Gen Z respondents enjoyed eating plant-based cuisine, while 36% said they eat meat alternatives daily.

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Regular Exercise

Gen Z recognizes the importance of physical activity for overall health. According to a 2023 study, 30% of Gen Z already work out at gyms, as opposed to 15% to 25% in older groups. If you’re over 40 and have joined a gym on January 1 only to stop going on January 8, then you know this to be true.

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Seeking Work-Life Balance

Gen Zers and Millennials have expressed that work-life balance is one of the most essential things they seek when job-hunting. In fact, according to a 2024 study from Deloitte, a professional services network, approximately 31% of Millennials and 27% of Gen Zers say work-life balance is their number one concern when considering whether or not to take that tantalizing job offer.

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Supporting Sustainable Practices

From eco-friendly products to sustainable living, Gen Zers prioritize choices that benefit the environment and future generations. According to the World Economic Forum, 75% of Gen Z consumers would rather buy a product based on sustainability than brand name, compared to 65% of Boomers.

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Being More Aware of the Effect of Social Media

According to the McKinsey Health Institute, Gen Zers are more aware of the negative impact of social media than their older counterparts. The Institute surveyed 42,000 young people in 26 different countries, and despite the cultural differences, the survey found that Gen Z respondents were the most likely to have negative feelings on how social media has affected them. At the same time, it also found that over half the respondents still saw social media as a valuable way of expressing themselves and staying connected to their online communities.

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Practicing Mindfulness

Gen Z has been incorporating mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga into their lives to help them manage stress, stay grounded, and get a decent night’s sleep. According to the McKinsey Health Institute, Gen Z outspends older consumers on such wellness products as mindfulness apps, meditation classes, and therapy sessions.

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Choosing Remote or Hybrid Work

According to a 2023 report from Spiceworks, 55% of that year’s college graduates said they would favor remote or hybrid work over an entirely in-person job. While you might expect that percentage to be even higher, it has nothing on the percentage who want a positive onboarding experience. Fully 94% said this was either “somewhat important” or “very important” to them. If you’ve ever spent the first week (or two) at a new job waiting for all the technological kinks to get ironed out, that’s understandable.

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Engaging in Creative Outlets

This one may be more of a matter of perception, but the overwhelming majority of Gen Zers consider themselves to be not just creative but more creative than any previous generation. According to the public relations company Publicis Groupe UK, this cohort prioritizes making time for creativity. A large 77% said they spent their free time doing things like drawing, journaling, and that most noble of creative efforts, making memes.

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Advocating for Climate Action

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Gen Zers would be involved in climate activism – after all, they’re the ones who will be stuck with the consequences of man-made climate change more than anyone else who’s currently drawing breath. A recent report from Pew Research found that in the United States, climate change was a top concern for 76% of Gen Zers, while it was the top concern for 37%.

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