Looking Back:
Health and Wellness in 2017

29.12.2017 Health : Wellness : Travel

Spaces that promote self-care, a holistic gym and empowering Middle Eastern female athletes were just some of the highlights in health and wellness this year.

The Trend: Self-care Spaces

The Assemblage, New York The Assemblage, New York
WMN Space, Los Angeles WMN Space, Los Angeles
The Assemblage, New York The Assemblage, New York
WMN Space, Los Angeles WMN Space, Los Angeles

In 2017, wellness continued to evolve beyond a focus on physical wellbeing towards a much greater emphasis on emotional resilience. In line with this shift, new wellness studios and co-working spaces emerged, offering a more nuanced approach to self-care.

Los Angeles studio WMN Space pioneered this approach with its programme of moon circles, voice and sound baths, and meditation classes that encouraged women to come together and heal with like-minded individuals.

Similarly, forward-thinking co-working spaces became more attuned to the importance of fostering emotional intelligence in the workspace. A notable example was The Assemblage in New York, which provides meditation rooms and elixir bars that serve mood-enhancing non-alcoholic drinks, as well as traditional co-working spaces.

The Interview: Anne-Laure Le Cunff on intelligent health tracking

Lysa Health, UK Lysa Health, UK

While food tracking apps are nothing new, Anne-Laure Le Cunff’s AI app Lysa, which was launched in October, added a new dimension to improve engagement with users and ensure continuing loyalty.

A former member of Google’s digital health team, Le Cunff told us that she ‘noticed that the number of downloads across the board in the wellness category on our app store was really high, yet the retention and engagement rates were really low’.

The Facebook Messenger app uses natural language and GIFs to track users’ food intake and make scientifically founded nutritional recommendations based on their health goals. ‘I started working on Lysa with the aim of building the most engaging experience possible in terms of managing your diet,’ says Le Cunff.

The Campaign: What Will They Say About You? by Nike

What Will They Say About You? by Nike, Middle East

Nike kicked off the new year with a campaign that concentrated on female empowerment in the Middle East. The short film, What Will They Say About You?, built on the brand’s 2015 campaign, presenting several strong female figures to challenge the traditional stereotypes of women that have often pervaded Middle Eastern culture and hindered female athletes.

Featuring Olympic fencer Inès Boubakri, competitive figure skater Zahra Lari, Jordan’s first female boxing champion Arifa Bseiso and certified parkour trainer Amal Mourad, the focus is predominantly on sport, although the inclusion of singer Balqees Fathi and actress Fatima Albanawi, who narrates the advertisement in Arabic, demonstrates a wider support for female empowerment in the Arab world.

The Big Idea: Building a Smog-free City

Liuzhou Forest City by Stefano Boeri Architetti, Italy Liuzhou Forest City by Stefano Boeri Architetti, Italy

The beginning of 2017 heralded record levels of air pollution. Within the first week of the new year, London had breached its annual limit, a stark reminder to brands and government bodies alike that pollution is a growing problem that needs tangible solutions.

In a bid to tackle the problem, sustainable technology company Green City Solutions launched CityTree, an automated Internet of Things habitat for pollutant-processing moss. While mosses have a particular facility for reducing airborne pollutants, cities rarely provide the right environment for them to grow naturally. Each CityTree unit is self-sufficient, collecting rain water and generating energy through solar panels. Internal monitors supply pollution information to city officials.

The Space: KXU

KxU, London KxU, London
KxU, London KxU, London
KxU, London KxU, London

In the age of The Optimised Self, focusing solely on fitness is not enough. Fitness studios are now moving beyond classes to offer a more holistic vision of health.

KXU is the sister of boutique studio KX, a luxury private members’ club in Chelsea. Whereas KX costs £2,000 ($2,679, €2,271) to join and £575 ($770, €653) membership per month, KXU requires no fee and prices classes at just £24 ($32.14, €27.26).

As well as offering more than 80 classes that range from strength to cardio and stretch, the club has a five-room beauty and wellness clinic that includes a cryotherapy chamber, an infrared sauna and a sports clinic to highlight the importance of exercise recovery, an idea that will continue to grow in importance as we move into 2018.

Download the Future Forecast PDF

Now that you know some of the health and wellness trends of the past year, find out where the industry is headed in 2018. Download our Future Forecast report here.