• Digital Wellbeing: do Baby Boomers miss out?

Digital Wellbeing: do Baby Boomers miss out?

Baby Boomers, or people who were born after World War II between the years of 1945 and 1964, are starting to age out of the workforce, however, they’re doing so at a relatively slow rate. The UK Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2018, 25% of the workforce will be 55 or older.

The high percentage of older people in the workforce affects how companies manage their team and impacts the opportunities available for Millennials (or those who were born between 1984 and 1995). Millennials and Baby Boomers differ quite a bit in the workforce. Millennials are more apt with technology as they were raised during the advent of the Internet, and are more likely to use social media platforms, smartphones, and other new technology than Baby Boomers. However, Baby Boomers are known to have a strong work ethic, a desire to make a better life for themselves, and live a highly structured lifestyle that make them – apart from their wealth of experience and expertise – desirable to have within your company.

The Digital Gap?

As Boomers age, this generation requires different needs from a benefits package. Naturally the “aging workforce” needs more medical attention. Having a well-rounded wellbeing package can help keep Baby Boomers in good health, and in your company, for years to come.

Employee benefits packages are trending towards flex benefits and wellbeing offerings that are based on new technology. Due to their well-rounded and engaging nature, web or app based wellbeing solutions have proven to be valuable assets for employees as well as employers. However, there are certain risks when curating such a package for the Baby Boomers. Naturally, Baby Boomers might not adapt as quickly to a digital solution as for example the Millennials, which could cause a “gap” between the generations and increase the risk that the aging generation misses out on preventative measure they could actually benefit from the most.

How Health defines the Needs of Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are perhaps the generation that needs a good health plan and wellbeing incentives the most. Despite life expectancy increasing, research shows that Baby Boomers are less healthy than the previous generation.

Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are the top three health problems affecting Boomers (with depression, Alzheimer’s, and stress closely following), so preventative care is particularly important. For example, according to the CDC, in 2011 people aged 64-75 were thirteen times more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than people 45 or younger. And heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women over age 60. These are two health issues that at the very least can be helped through preventative lifestyle choices.

Preventative Lifestyle: Improving your Wellbeing Offering

Preventing type 2 diabetes and heart disease can be as easy as taking a single step (or several). For example: Encouraging employees to take walking breaks throughout the day and after lunch – walking can significantly reduce the amount of post-meal glucose produced and fend off heart disease. Regular walking, or any form of exercise, can also increase cognitive ability and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. An app such as SMG Kiqplan can easily be included in a wellbeing package for your employees, which allows them to track their fitness, diet, and sleep patterns, all of which leads to healthier, more productive employees.

Baby Boomers and Millennials may not have the same expectations on the “shape” of a wellbeing package however both generations will value and benefit from a culture of wellbeing. The awareness a digital solution creates by tracking all aspects of health (nutrition, sleep, activity and mood) will improve your team’s wellbeing, and improve your company’s culture and productivity.

Sources:

http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/walking-after-eating-lowers-glucose-in-healthy-people-and-diabetes-patients/

https://nihseniorhealth.gov/exerciseforolderadults/healthbenefits/01.html

http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/03/22/technology-adoption-by-baby-boomers-and-everybody-else/

http://www.westsoundworkforce.com/how-are-baby-boomers-affecting-the-workplace/

https://www.scripps.org/news_items/5475-top-10-health-concerns-of-baby-boomers

http://time.com/3852306/baby-boomer-health-charts/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

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