10 Future Trends in Health and Wellness for 2022

Last updated June 13, 2024

What will the health and wellness scene look like for 2022? Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has compiled its annual wellness forecast based on the insights of wellness execs and trend-spotters. All in all, GWS believes these experts have the most impact on the ever-changing world of wellness.

The Future of Wellness 2022 report goes deep on the major shifts ahead in nutrition, wellness travel, wellness real estate, women’s health, men’s wellness, healthcare, technology,  sustainability and spas. 

One thing the future trends in health and wellness report undoubtedly makes clear, says GWS chair and CEO Susie Ellis, is that the future of wellness and the definition of  “true wellness” has profoundly changed.

Despite the diverse perspectives of these experts on future trends in health and wellness, several key themes stand out. These include a focus on soil-centric and survivalist wellness approaches, the growing crisis in men’s body image and the ongoing gap in women’s health research. Additionally, there’s a surge in interest in the wellness metaverse, the demand for certified wellness coaches, the development of urban wellness spaces and the creation of healthier living models for seniors.

Here are the 10 trends in health and wellness for 2022 according to GWS. And why we at Vacayou think these are hot topics!

Future of wellness trend and soil bathing close up of plant in female hands

1. Dirt-y Wellness

The health of the world’s soil—and the impact of soil exposure on human health—is top of mind. 

Why we love this future trend:  People are becoming ag-geeks. The farm—and increasingly the regenerative farm—is becoming as important as spa-ing and fitness. We are seeing whole menus of farm-wellness experiences. Think soil bathing and soil-to-guest beyond farm-to-table.

2. Toxic Muscularity Comes Clean

Bulging biceps and rippling abs have a negative effect on male body image.   

Why we love this future trend: Body image is no longer solely a woman’s issue. As evidence reveals, men—and boys—are unhappy with their bodies, and male body image is getting a long-overdue, body positivity attitude.

Male hand of muscular man with biceps, triceps
Future of wellness trend fit woman with wellness tech

3. From Wellness Tech to Technological Wellness

A fresh take on digital health and how it can help our overall well-being.

Why we love this future trend: Between wearables, smart home gyms and tele health apps, there seems to be no shortage of tech promising to make us well. It’s time to pause, put down our devices and let technological wellness sit right alongside diet, exercise and mindfulness—rather than replace it.

4. Senior Living Disrupted

A wrinkle in time no more—everything old becomes new again.

Why we love this future trend: According to a noted aging expert, 90 will be the new 40 within a decade. But this senior class doesn’t want to be defined by age nor socially segregated by it. Enter intergenerational living environments that reduce age segregation while increasing social interactions and connections.

Senior couple on bike
Mixed race woman balancing surfboard on head

5. Wellness Travel: Seekers, Welcome

Post-pandemic travelers are ready for adventure and engagement.

Why we love this future trend: Intention is the future of travel in 2022. And hello—this is what Vacayou is all about. The way we see it is that wellness travel is powered by intention: planning a trip with a specific mindset to get away and recenter, whether it’s a weeklong biking trip, a spa getaway or an extended visit to a weight loss retreat. 

6. Innovative Tech Closing the Gender Gap in Medical Research

Artificial Intelligence, apps and wearables collect data for a wide range of women’s health conditions.

Why we love this future trend: Women’s health has long suffered from insufficient research in numerous categories including menopause, endometriosis and infertility. The tech industry has finally started to think outside the box using a host of innovative technology—from data-collection trackers to smart bras—with hopes of improving diagnostics and treatments. 

Future of wellness trend medical information right at her fingertips
Future of wellness trend woman in urban bathhouse Turkish hammam

7. Urban Bathhouses & Wellness Playgrounds

Affordable wellness is coming to a city near you via communal bathhouses and public playgrounds.

Why we love this future trend: There’s a renaissance happening in cities around the globe. Urban playgrounds are merging nature and art with wellness and transforming cityscapes into man-made beaches and pop-up wellness studios. Communal bathing is also making a splash with the resurgence of the cleansing and healing power of water and heat.

8. Next-Gen Naturalism

The return of self-reliance and back-to-basics wellness.

Why we love this future trend: In short, it’s all about survivalist and simplistic thinking. What does this have to do with wellness? Lots. Where wellness was once seen as frivolous and woo-woo, we’re now seeing a return to the fundamentals—sleep, movement, a balanced diet and mental healthcare. Foraging, TikTok #ecohacks, outdoor survival schools and KonMari-esque methods are leading the charge.

Hand holding a compass in front of the ocean
Future of wellness trend health and wellness coaching

9. Health & Wellness Coaching Gets Certified

Coaches trained in the art and science of motivating healthy changes have been the missing link in both healthcare and wellness.

Why we love this future trend: Wellness coaching may be the most overused noun on earth, a concept made even fuzzier now that any Insta or TikTok influencer can boldly claim this title. The good news is that standards and certifications are getting beefed up and will hopefully erase the “one-week-will-change-your-life” mentality in favor of everyday coaching connections.

10. Wellness Welcomes the Metaverse

Health and wellness are attractive to the Metaverse, which needs to diversify beyond gaming.

Keeping in mind that the metaverse is still more conceptual than polished reality, think of it as an opportunity to explore. From virtual reality and augmented reality to merged reality and haptics, the coming wellness metaverse will create disruptive new products and services that put health and well-being front row center.  

Future of wellness trend senior black man using virtual reality headset during meditation and yoga

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