Post COVID Era:Consumer Trend Changes Due to COVID-19 in Mental Wellness and Fitness
The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced almost every consumer category, showing catastrophic effects on the overall economy and impacting various industries. However, it has also influenced growth in some sectors, including segments of mental health and fitness.Practices such as working from home and social distancing have taken a toll on both the physical and mental health of individuals- men, women and children.
Before the pandemic, mental health wasn’t given the proper importance. There were a very few ways that helped people to cope up with their Mental Wellness such as talking to family and friends & visiting a psychiatrist in extreme conditions. Many people tried to avoid getting mentally unwell by steering clear of fights and situations that could affect their mental health and physical health overall.
The sudden shift in the environment, drastic increase in stress, workload and uncertainty brought attention to psychiatric distress, making many people vulnerable to long term concerns like PTSD, Depression and Anxiety. People started paying more attention towards their own mental health as well as physical fitness.
During this pandemic, normal people have started changing their lense towards Mental Wellness and Fitness. They have been taking the help of psychiatrists through online mode, buying various music subscriptions and yoga subscriptions to keep themselves happy through having endorphins. This shift in the behaviour has created positive impact on mental health industry.
These trend changes have helped the consumers to cope with their day to day work. Many yoga instructors have been taking yoga classes on online platforms like zoom and Microsoft teams. Due to yoga sessions and everything, exercises related to mental health have brought up the user rates for zoom, Microsoft teams, cisco webex, etc. as many people prefer to have these sessions along with their day to day meetings online.
The fact that mental health can also impact physical health in many ways and once mentally unwell, a person gets affected physically soon after. It was observed as many people experienced worsening of their pre-existing psychiatric disorders.
WHO has issued some guidelines to follow to cope up with the changing day to day routine of majority of the people and keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy. According to WHO (World Health Organisation) and many other sources, eating healthy, avoiding smoking, drinking, etc. increases chances of having good physical health and helps in avoiding stress, anxiety, etc. during this time of the pandemic.
To have perfectly good mental health and maintain a very good mental fitness such as, avoid reading, watch, or listening to any triggering news as much as possible to prevent stress, and limiting the alcohol consumption are suggested as a means to cope up with anxiety, boredom or self isolation.
WHO also suggests people to maintain a proper routine- either one can keep what they had earlier or make a new one which can include- getting up and going to bed at the same time every day, keeping up the personal hygiene, exercising every day, allocating time for work and resting and, also making time for what you enjoy.
Despite the focus on physical health, the fitness industry saw a big dip in the otherwise flourishing fitness industry’s growth due to the nationwide lockdown. Since the owners struggled with almost no sources of income, 5%-10% gyms are likely to get bankrupt or sold-out. The fitness industry also witnessed unemployment where the primary victims are gym owners, trainers & employees.
Even though gyms and clinics have been shut down for a while, health has undoubtedly emerged as an important factor for the consumers to adjust to the ‘new normal’. Re-opening of gyms with strict terms & conditions is announced in the unlock phase 4.0 showing a ray of hope to the fitness industry.
However after five months of lockdown due to the social distancing requirement, fear of getting infected, intimate contact with other people is restricting to getting the customers in the gym.
The pandemic has provided room to new opportunities including rise of telemedicine and at-home fitness therapy. There is a rise in online fitness training options. People are taking personalized classes and fitness coaching at home only. Many fitness trainers who were previously working with gyms are now taking their own individual classes. There is a possibility that consumers’ approach to fitness and mental health might be permanently altered.
In overall we can see more aware customers and focus in the mental health and fitness industry with the help of technology. In the long term the health and fitness industry is expecting a boom in new normal.