Millennial is the buzzword right now – they’re the ones we see on the covers of magazines or, more likely, on the front page of Instagram. So would it surprise you to know that the generation of Baby Boomers (those who were born between 1946 and 1964) feel fitter and healthier than Millennials, despite us not seeing these people represented in the fitness media?
It’s true, according to a survey run by NRS Healthcare. They asked 3 groups of people: Millennials (18-35), Generation X (35-55) and Baby Boomers (55+). The survey showed that, overall, 86% of Baby Boomers would define their overall fitness as “average or above” whereas 72% of Generation X and a paltry 69% of Millennials gave the same answer, the rest answering that it was below average. The same group also spends the most time exercising a week – 43% exercise most days compared to 21% of Millennials and 24% of Generation X.
The survey also asked how people felt about their diet – the super fit Baby Boomers also answered that their diets were healthy, in fact 100% of them said so! This compares to 79% of Generation X and Millennials saying that they tend to eat healthily. It does seem that many don’t necessarily regard breakfast as being an important part of a healthy diet however as only 72% of Baby Boomers eat breakfast every day, 77% of Generation X however find it more important, and only 54% of Millennials. Those Baby Boomers also feel that vitamins aren’t necessary to maintaining a healthy diet – only 28% of them take supplements to help give their body extra nutrients, whereas 45% of Generation X and Millennials do so.
It seems that Millennials are feeling self-conscious and under pressure to do something about their health or that the older generations are either simply more likely to find it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle or that they no longer feel pressured to live in a certain way. This is no more apparent than in their choices of diet:
The most popular diet for Millennials was the newly popular 5:2; for Generation X, it was the traditional Slimming World; and for Baby Boomers, it was the old hat Atkins diet. However Millennials have tried far more diets than any other generation, despite respondents in this group all being under the age of 35 – 22 separate diets featured in their answers, the vast majority of which can only be classed as “fad” diets – juice cleanses, teatoxes, low carbs, Lean in 15 and raw food only diets were popular. In contrast, Generation X reported 10 different diets and Baby Boomers only 5.
Is the world a difficult place for a Millennial to navigate in terms of health and fitness, or are Baby Boomers simply more secure in their bodies? The rest of the survey results can be found on NRS Healthcare’s blog here.