My idea of wellness mirrors my own general attitude: laid back, spontaneous and, as my boss would probably say, disorganized.
I don’t eat fast food – as long as we’re not counting Chipotle or Jimmy John’s, I try to play basketball once a week and I always take the stairs when given the option. For me, it’s an unstructured daily battle of good habits vs. bad. And it plays out a lot like those old Spy vs. Spy comics, with the black winning on one page and white winning the next.
(Course, these days, wellness might be something as simple as staying out of Dallas emergency rooms.)
Anyway, based on just the last couple of trade shows I’ve attended, wellness appears to finally be coming of age. Pardon my cynicism, but it’s just one of those things we’ve been talking about for at least a decade now without it really going anywhere. It’s been the Next Big Thing longer than Samsung’s been making smartphones – and using that catchphrase.
But the exhibit halls are starting to fill up with not just product venders – such as FitBit – but carriers are getting in on the action. I’m seeing more and more of the big names under their wellness banner than not these days.
It’s not just me. According to economists at SRI International, who did some digging on behalf of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, wellness is now a $3.4 trillion business – which is more than double SRI’s estimate from just last year. And, apparently, spas are growing at a 7 percent clip annually, global recession be damned.
One of the better stories from just this past week involved AngioScreen at my competitor’s trade show in sunny Boca Raton. I’m sure there’s a lot more science and tech stuff involved, but basically they lay you out on a table, stick you with a few electrodes and do an ultrasound on your major arteries.
For me, it was definitely a “good news, bad news” story. My arteries were funneling more traffic than the Lincoln Tunnel, but my blood pressure was borderline – which probably wasn’t helped by the open bar on the show floor. Worst of all though was my ballooning BMI. The number’s getting a little too close to my waist size for my comfort. Again, could have something to do with that open bar. Overall, I guess you could say I got a B-minus.
But by the end of the show, they’d scanned a fair amount of attendees – the NSA would be jealous. And from what I heard, two of them actually got sent to the hospital for something that looked like a tumor. Helluva way to wrap up a trade show.
The kicker here is that this would be $1,000 test at your neighborhood hospital, even if it only took five minutes. And here they were scanning people like groceries, like it was nothing.
I was impressed, relieved and stressed out all at once. Will it make me drink a little less, play basketball a little more, and maybe even commit to some life changes? I don’t know, but I’m still thinking about it, which is something.