Health trends from the 70s to the present day
We continue to benefit from health trends and our knowledge on what constitutes physical well-being is constantly growing. Over the years, activities like yoga and fitness training have become firmly established in our society – and have evolved even further.
The 70s: nutrition
After World War II, the population begins to eat more. In the 70s, nutrition becomes a publicly discussed topic. The health-conscious look to healthy nutrition and weight-loss diets to reduce the rise in weight problems, high blood pressure and diabetes.
What do we eat today?
Much has happened since the 70s and it’s no longer only a question of counting calories. The focus today lies much more on choosing the right foods and the topic of sustainability.
Awareness: the high sugar and salt levels in sweetened drinks and convenience foods have a damaging effect on our well-being. Secretly, we all know that going without would be the answer. Awareness of which foods are particularly healthy is rising. We're now eating healthy fats in the form of avocados and nutritious superfoods in the form of nuts and berries.
Sustainability: besides the increasing awareness of health factors, the sustainable use of foods is also gaining traction. Those who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet are benefiting themselves and the environment.
The 80s: fitness
In the early 80s, videos of Jane Fonda’s aerobic activities and pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscles travel the world. The two stars encourage more exercise and regular training with weights. The body becomes a status symbol that is to be seen and admired.
Who is still doing this to themselves?
Enthusiasm for the six-pack or well-toned triceps has by no means diminished. Proof of this are people’s reactions to footballer Cristiano Ronaldo's torso or the upper arms of former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Establishment of gyms
In the meantime, people have started going to the weight room for the sake of their health rather than for aesthetic reasons. Strength training serves to build up muscles after an accident and correct posture problems. Thanks to the fitness hype, opportunities to exercise here in Switzerland abound too – whether in the city, the agglomeration or the countryside.
The 90s: yoga
It is at the latest with the Beatles that the West becomes interested in these physical exercises from India. In the 90s, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna turn yoga into a massively popular form of physical and mental relaxation. Yoga reduces stress, brings balance to the mind and strengthens the immune system.
Yoga came and stayed. Thanks to yoga, we have learned to switch off. Like fitness exercises, yoga can be practised almost anywhere: alone at home, in a group course with other yogis, or at a yoga retreat in the mountains.
For young and old: yoga is adaptable
Anyone can do yoga – irrespective of how flexible their body is. The range of differing styles of yoga is wide: hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga, power yoga, etc. In theory, only a minimum of equipment is needed for yoga. Today, however, we're spoilt for choice with attractive mats, functional yoga clothing and sustainable water bottles.
The 00s: wearables
The mid-noughties sees the arrival of wearables like fitness trackers and smartwatches. Worn on the wrist or carried in a pocket, the little gadgets show the user’s daily step count or heart rate.
Have you done your 10,000 steps today?
- Advancing digitalisation and the evolution of wearables mean that people are now monitoring their own bodies. “Self-tracking” is the buzzword.
- Health and fitness are no longer left to chance: with information on calorie burn, exercise intensity and relaxation phases we can optimise our physical fitness. The device shows us when we should rest or move more.
- Many wearables motivate users with a gamification approach: on reaching a fitness goal, users are awarded a virtual badge that can be shared with the online community.
Present day: mental health attitudes
Most sections of society today see depression and anxiety disorders as serious illnesses. Young adults are more aware of their feelings and able to talk about their illnesses.
Shouldn't we all talk about it?
Young people tend to be more open towards therapy, which is now no longer a taboo subject. This development has led to benefits for young and old alike as talking about our feelings and fears can break the taboo around mental illness.
Sufferers of depression or any form of anxiety disorder can now be helped. Research around mental health is constantly growing and being incorporated into the different therapy forms. Today, mental illnesses are recognised at an early stage. At the same time, the range of therapy options has increased.