Millennials – or “Gen Y” (generation Y) – refers to those born between the late 70s and late 90s. Sadly, recent research has found that once millennials come to age, they will likely be less happy and healthy than their parents.
Because millennials have been born during a time of frequent economic crisis and political changes throughout the world, as well as a time in which many new innovations and technologies have been developed, it could be said that competition has been a major part of the lives of Gen Y, from their education to their careers to finding a stable home of their own.
As they have grown up, the majority of Gen Y members are known to be fairly confident. They tend to choose work that they like and enjoy personally, with a greater focus on working at home or freelancing. They also generally choose to have the majority of their relationships via the social media world, as opposed to real life interaction.
With the need to study hard and work hard, with the concerns about having a stable home and life, with the amount of time spent working alone and with the great deal of one-way communication in the virtual world over long periods of time, all these factors have translated into stress accumulation for a great many millennials.
Added to this list are long periods of sitting without moving the body, surfing the Internet for relaxation and the fact that this group is most likely to order food to eat at home, instead of cooking food themselves. Unbeknownst to them, all of these have resulted in degeneration of their physical health as they age.
The rate of mental health issues is rising rapidly for millennials. According to data released by a well-known health insurance company in the U.S., it has been found that since the year 2010, the rate of Gen Yers diagnosed with depression has risen to 19%, while Gen Xers were at 14% and baby boomers 12%.
To prevent mental illness, take care to observe the mental state of both yourself and your colleagues closely. If you feel stress coming on, perhaps try talking to a friend, your family or a doctor, and make sure to get plenty of exercise and adequate rest in order to help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases which can also affect your mind and mental state in the future.
It is a well-known fact that personal listening devices or headphones do affect your hearing. This is especially true for people who keep their earphones in all the time and/or have the volume turned up louder than standard safe levels, even though nowadays some adjustments have been made to help improve safety.
Millennials who have grown up with their mobile phones, known as “iPod generation”, continue to spend a great deal of time with their headphones on and, sadly, if this trend continues, they may have to be renamed the “deaf generation”.
Symptoms of hearing loss due to excessive or incorrect use of earphones include a loud buzzing noise in the ears, earaches or an inability to hear sounds even at a fairly close distance.
However, these conditions can be cured and/or prevented by keeping the volume of listening devices no higher than 60% and listening for no more than 60 minutes at a time (60/60 rule). If you notice any abnormalities in your hearing, you should seek medical advice and treatment from a doctor immediately.
There is evidence that more than 70% of millennials are overweight by the time they reach middle age. Compare this to their parents or those of the baby boomer generation, only 50% of whom were considered overweight when coming of age.
Not only have the members of Gen Y grown up with junk food and the massive amounts of foreign foods that have overwhelmed the Thai markets, but they have also been trendsetters in creating a healthy-eating culture. Regardless, correct eating habits include eating enough and appropriately, choosing plenty of fruits and vegetables, and focusing on foods with a high fiber content, including various grains and cereals, especially reducing or avoiding junk foods. Healthy habits also include exercising at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week, getting adequate rest and keeping a clear, positive mind.
Obesity is also the cause of many other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and dyslipidemia, as well as certain types of cancers, such as breast, colon and prostate cancer.
In addition to weight loss to help prevent diseases, regular cancer screening according to the type and terms of each individual cancer is a must for cancer prevention, especially for those who have a family history of those same cancers.
We are all born and raised in different eras with different ways of thinking, differing belief systems and different lifestyles. Understanding and accepting the individual differences in each person and for each era is important. As a millennial, knowing that greater incidence of disease and unhappiness has been predicted when compared to generations before, this can help you understand the importance of caring for your mental and physical health, so that you can take steps to make this a priority in your life and not something that is overlooked.
Faculty of Medicine Chulalongkorn University , 2003