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5 surprising health mistakes Millennials make

4 minute read
Young girls being surprised while on social media

Millennials tend to get a bad rap, being labelled ‘lazy’ and ‘selfish’ and, although we’re probably the most studied generation ever, we still end up being misunderstood.

However, despite what our parents think, when it comes to our health, it seems Millennials are exercising more, eating better and drinking less.

So, if you’re a Millennial (aka someone born 1982-2004), here are five health mistakes you’re probably making – and some of them aren’t what you’d expect!

1. Not so sleeping beauties

A survey by the American Psychological Association found that Millennials reported a higher level of stress than any other generation and more than half of our generation has lain awake at night because of this stress. With lack of sleep proven to make us more stressed, it becomes a vicious cycle. Having trouble getting some shut-eye? Switch your smartphone for a book, steer clear of caffeine for six hours before bed and try and go to sleep at the same time each night to set your body clock.

Credit: TED-Ed

2. Neglecting your mental health

We’re known for working hard and playing harder, so it’s no surprise that it’s catching up to us – in the form of anxiety and mental illness. A 2015 paper by The Chronicle of Higher Education found that 33% of responders “felt so depressed that it was difficult to function” in the last year. Robert Leahy wrote in Psychology Today warning that the prevalence of this was only going to get worse, “Anxiety has been increasing. The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.”

3. Super-sized everything

Despite being told that we’re a group of green smoothie-sipping, kale-eating yogis, the obesity rate in millennials is constantly increasing. A study into Australian obesity trends by the University of Sydney found that for females, “the rate of increase in obesity appears to be greatest between the ages of 25 and 54 years”, while for males, “The critical period of weight gain appears to be the 5-10 year period after leaving school.” If you are concerned about your weight, nib provides benefits in many of our Extras cover for dietary advice, personal training and gym memberships where this forms part of a health management program.

Millennials eating super-sized pizza

4. Social media addiction

Is social media a health mistake? A new report by the Royal Society for Public Health surveyed 14-24 year olds on their social media habits and found that four out of the five main social media platforms are linked with increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep. Instagram was the major culprit, listed as the most negative of all platforms and causing millennials higher rates of body image issues, FOMO, trouble sleeping and bullying. Might be time for a social detox…

5. Skipping the STD checks

It appears our sex ed classes didn’t teach us much, with the number of reported cases of chlamydia in the US rising to 1.4 million (250% increase from 20 years ago) and gonorrhoea increasing to 350,000 cases (that’s a 10.5% increase since 2010). With these types of figures, it seems that using protection and getting tested regularly for STDs is a must.

Keen to hear how real people use their nib private health insurance? Check out how one wrong tackle changed everything for sports lover Josh.

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