According to a recent study, Millennials are on track to become the first generation to suffer worst health than their parents when they reach middle age. Apparently they will have a higher risk of “lifestyle” diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease in thirty years time, brought on predominantly by their increasingly stressful lifestyles. Their lack of life long employment, low wages, their relationships and their rental housing situation is linked to longterm stress, anxiety, depression and a lower quality of life. I assume you can chuck their obsession with social media in their too, being the first “digital nomads” on the planet and we are not yet far enough down the line to truly measure how lonely and anxious this has collectively made them feel.
This is very bad news for our children. I thought that Millennials were the ones living the dream? These are two of my children we are talking about now and yes, of course they have to live at home longer with me than we did with our parents, which is enough to depress anyone, but I haven’t up until now been worried about their long term futures. I thought we were embracing the lack of the “forever jobs” and the fact that they can dip in and out. I additionally had presumed that renting was quite fun and stress free compared to owning your own house and having to find a decent plumber, but seemingly having a “safe and secure home” is an important factor for them and I’m aware that they are paying over the odds for shabby accommodation in dodgy parts of the country (or at least they are as students whereby a significant number of landlords and landlady’s treat them badly). I thought they were the experiential travellers? The ones the brands were targeting to promote their destinations, their products and their lifestyles.
I guess the worry is that there are so many graduates these days that the shine has worn off the importance of them and of course they come out of uni with a vast amount of debt they are unlikely to ever pay off. With many graduates having to work in the local coffee shop or accepting unpaid internships and zero hours contracts, it must all be rather worrying for them.
Additionally having to manage their lives online – their dating, their friendships and the curation of their own personal brand must be hugely stressful. I’d have hated having to do that back in the day. It was hard enough getting stood up at the local cinema, but at least I didn’t ever find out that were having a fabulous time somewhere else with someone else and could just believe that they’d been in a road traffic accident and didn’t know the name of the hospital, so don’t worry about coming to visit them.
What about the fact that they eat tons and tons of avocado’s and green smoothies? Drink less alcohol and vape more, smoke less? (not sure about their drug intakes – think this is out of control in general). The survey suggests that despite all this, the biggest contributors to risks for non-communicable diseases are social and environmental factors of which most important are housing, employment and relationships.
I feel sorry for them now.
What are we going to do about it?