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The Global Wellness Economy

  • Main Ideas

    Learning Objective


    Behavioral Objective


    Key Thought

  • Main Ideas

    Learning Objective


    Behavioral Objective


    Key Thought

  • Terms


    The wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services.

  • Terms


    The wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services.

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    Summary introductory paragraph here.

    What is a Wellness Economy?

    The use of the term wellness has been growing exponentially over the past decade, but what does it mean? What is the definition of the wellness economy? Why is the global wellness industry worth US$4.5 trillion?

    globe and stacks of coins representing a global economy
    Declining health has led to a rise in Wellness products and services worldwide.

    In a nutshell, wellness is the practice of daily habits that improve your wellbeing - both mental and physical. According to the World Health Organization, the definition of wellness is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

    There are several areas of a person\'s wellbeing which contribute to overall wellness. These include nutrition, exercise, sleep, social connectedness, and mindfulness. Taking care of each of these aspects of health help with the optimization of a person\'s wellbeing.

    Key Sectors in the Wellness Industry

    The global wellness industry includes the fitness and beauty industries. The industry also includes the nutrition and weight loss industries, wellness tourism (retreats and spa visits), workplace wellness, and wearable fitness trackers.

    A subsection of the wellness economy is the mental wellness economy, valued at US$121 billion. The Global Wellness Institute claims mental wellness is "an internal resource that helps us think, feel, connect, and function. It is an active process that helps us to build resilience, grow, and flourish." The mental wellness economy includes the below sectors:

    Senses, Spaces, and Sleep

    This section covers businesses that sell products to optimize sleep. This includes but is not limited to mattresses, eye masks, smart bedding, and sleep tracking apps. It also includes products that enable people to destress using sensory experience. This can be anything from scents and diffusers to white noise, noise cancellation, weighted blankets, and floatation tanks.

    Brain-Boosting Nutraceuticals and Botanicals

    This sector covers supplements and superfoods that help boost wellbeing, energy levels, and brain function. It also includes the booming CBD industry. The vast array of CBD and canna oil products claim to help people calm their anxiety and get better sleep.


    Self-improvement means books, online courses, and videos that teach people how to optimize their lives.

    Other products included in this sphere are in-person events run by wellness industry leaders. These events include talks and seminars that offer actionable advice to attendees.

    Meditation and Mindfulness

    Meditation is a well-known aspect of mental wellness. This subsection of the wellness industry includes apps, meditation teachers, retreats, and items such as mindful coloring books. There is also a large market for various meditation accessories such as bolsters, blankets, chimes, beads.

    The State of the Global Wellness Economy

    The wellness industry was booming in 2020. It has been growing almost twice as fast as global economic growth, with a 6% growth in 2017 (global economic growth is 3%).

    When the Global Wellness Institute carried out a study of wellness economic statistics in 2017, it contributed to 5.3% of global output. This number has continued to increase in the last three years as the wellness economy has sustained continued growth.

    The US has the largest market for wellness, last valued at $52.5 billion. China is the second-largest market for wellness, valued at $19.9 billion. Australia is next with a $9.5 billion value, then the UK with $9 billion, and Germany with $6.4 billion. According to predictions, China will take the lead in the next five years.

    Why Has Wellness Become So Important?

    Countries are more frequently measuring their citizens\' happiness. With the publication of reports such as the World Happiness Report, there is no denying wellbeing has shifted up on the global agenda.

    Governments have started to connect citizens\' health to productivity. Health care systems around the world are overburdened; the onset of the 2020 pandemic has highlighted this. There is more of a cultural shift to preventing disease than just medicating once the disease is detected.

    High-stress work-lives and unhealthy diets mean the nation\'s health has deteriorated over the last few decades. The invention of fast food and poor dietary choices mean people are in their worst health. According to estimates, almost 160 million Americans are obese or overweight.

    Children are also overweight; 30% of American children have a high BMI, which is up 21% from 1990. People are time-poor due to overwork, making it harder to make conscious and healthy decisions about nutrition.

    The population is waking up because poor lifestyle choices have long-term impacts on their lives. It\'s not just long term chronic illness that is being affected by poor lifestyle choices but the ease of daily life.

    With better nutrition and exercise choices comes better sleep. With better sleep comes less stress. Simple steps can help people to show up in their daily lives as the best versions of themselves. This leads to more clarity and focuses at work and better relationships with those they love.

    Stress, loneliness, overwork, and a poor work-life balance are becoming bad for mental health, too. As a result, many people are heading towards burnout. People have started to turn to alternative therapies to improve their well-being. Culturally, there has been a much more open dialogue about mental well being, understanding it, and taking care of it.

    Technology and Wellness

    Technology has also made access to information about health and wellbeing easier and more accessible. Offerings such as apps to guide meditation, apps that track sleep, track calorie intake, steps, and activity levels. Everyone has the ability to see how much they move just by looking at a device. People have never had it easier when it comes to having data on how well the body functions.

    Another reason the wellness economy is booming is likely due to digital media. People now have information about their health on demand and can find information with the click of a button.

    Social media has also influenced the growth of the wellness industry. Social media tends to show optimized versions of people\'s lives. In turn, it may encourage users to be the best versions of themselves and make an effort to live better.

    Digital media is a great tool to get inspiration and ideas of things that can contribute to well-being. Whether that\'s using a recipe, completing a guided meditation, work out, or something larger such as going on a wellness retreat.

    Global Wellness Economy Trends

    As the global pandemic has turned normal life upside down, people\'s mental health and wellness, in particular, has suffered. As a result of global deteriorating mental health wellness, the industry will step up. The plethora of tools available to help improve mental wellbeing will only continue to increase in the next few years.

    It\'s not only the mental wellness sector that will continue to grow. It is predicted that the physical activity economy will be worth $1.1 trillion by 2023. There is an ever-increasing number of fitness apps and trackers released onto the market every day. As a result, technology is predicted to be the second fasted growing wellness market.

    With the closure of many gyms and fitness studios due to the pandemic, virtual fitness training has become one of the stands out trends of 2020. Exercise at home will only continue in 2021 as people become comfortable with working out in their own homes.

    It is estimated the sale of fitness equipment increased by 170% at the beginning of the pandemic. Manufacturers could not keep up with consumer demand.

    Trends in Workplace Wellness

    Sitting for long periods of time can actually increase the chances someone will get diabetes or cancer. It can also affect their brain function. The Global Wellness Institute predicts that employee unwellness costs the global economy 10-15% of the economic output.

    1. Workplaces are increasingly offering wellness programs to take care of the well-being of their employees. Employers finally realize that the sedentary lifestyle of many office workers is detrimental to their long term health.

    2. Employers are increasingly providing gym memberships, free yoga, and meditation classes and encouraging workers to take more exercise.

    3. Wellness programs help increase worker productivity, reduce stress, and improve employee engagement. It is estimated that 79% of US employers offer a wellness program. The amount spent on healthcare is less for companies that have a wellness program.

    4. Flexible working setups will increase as more workers do their work at home due to the pandemic. Flexible hours and no commute every day are proven to have a positive impact on employees\' wellbeing.

    Spa Industry Growth Trends

    1. The spa industry is one of the largest contributors to the wellness economy. It has been growing at a consistent 10% yearly rate since 2017. By 2022 it is expected to be worth $128 billion.

    2. The spa industry employs approximately 2.5 million workers globally. The top 5 markets are the USA, China, Germany, France, and Japan.

    3. The mineral and thermal spring industry have also been growing rapidly at 4.9% annually since 2017. It is expected to reach $77 billion in revenue by 2022. 95% of the revenues are made from establishments in Europe and Asia-Pacific. More specifically, China, Japan, and Germany. 

    Wellness Tourism Trends

    1. Wellness tourism is considered to include fitness holidays, yoga and meditation retreats, and self-improvement holidays. 17% of global tourism is wellness tourism.

    2. As of 2017, Wellness tourism was a $639 billion market, which is predicted to grow to $919 billion by 2022.  Wellness tourists tend to spend 53% more on a trip than a typical tourist. The price tag for a wellness holiday is often high, which makes this a lucrative business. 

    With the travel bans and countrywide lockdown restrictions that have been put in place in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, people are desperate to book a getaway. Many will want to book travel, which contributes to their mental and physical wellbeing.

    The retreats business in 2022 is going to boom. A travel renaissance is on the horizon; people will travel more mindfully and in a way that will positively impact their lives in a more long term way.

    Wellness Real Estate

    Wellness real estate means homes built by communities who want to live in a way that promotes wellness. It is predicted the market for this type of residence will be worth $198 billion in 2022.

    Mental Wellness Economy Trends

    The mental wellness economy is also projected to continue growing at an exponential rate. With meditation apps such as Calm valued at $1billion, the business of digitally guided meditation is here to stay.

    Good quality sleep is integral to weight loss, lower stress levels, and higher productivity. Sleep startups are another growing trend, with numerous products, technology, and apps appearing on the market. Their main goal - to help people get the best night\'s sleep possible. Optimizing sleep has long been a struggle for many people, but new technologies are changing this.

    Trends in Supplements and Superfoods

    People are becoming more concerned about their nutrition and ensuring their bodies are getting the correct nourishment. Data from Google searches show that the interest from consumers in superfoods grew rapidly in 2020. This category alone is projected to grow to $5.61 billion by 2024.

    The Future of Wellness

    The wellness economy will only continue growing over the next five years. Health habits and behaviors have been challenged as a result of the pandemic.

    More and more people are looking for ways to improve their mental and physical wellness. There are thousands of companies worldwide that aim to help people do this. Whether selling a product, service, or experience, the business of wellness companies is booming.

    Making small incremental changes over a long time is how people can improve their long-term well-being and prevent disease. Feeling physically strong can, in turn, help with feeling mentally healthy.

    What is integral to wellness? Good nutrition, taking supplements, quality sleep, stress management, and exercise. Our online wellness education program is an excellent way to get started on your wellness journey.

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A safe and accurate address for delivery must be provided at the time the order is placed. Once an order has shipped, is NOT responsible for lost or stolen packages CONFIRMED BY THE CARRIER to be delivered to the address provided for the order.

Since COVID-19, and the ensuing economic challenges in the USA economy, we respectfully ask that you allow some additional time for delivery for the carriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx). Most orders still arrive on time, or near on time, but some may run late. We make every effort to get your order packed and into the carriers hands the same day, or by the next business morning if your order came in later in the previous day after carrier pickup, but we have no control over any delays that may happen within the shipping carrier's delivery system. Please order earlier for the time being if you are time-sensitive.

Orders that contain only FirstFitness Nutrition products have a shipping fee automatically calculated based upon the actual shipping weight of the items purchased. The charge ranges from $4.95 to $14.95.

For orders with NuMedica products you may choose from the shipping options below on the Order Checkout form in the Shipping Information section on the first line that says Choose Shipping Method.

Shipping Options

Country Option Schedule Cost
United States Standard 3-6 Days $4.95
United States Priority 2-4 Days $9.95
United States Free 7-10 Days $0.00
International FedEx International 4-7 Days $79.95*
International GlobalPost International 12-21 Days $39.95*
*International shipping costs may be higher depending upon package weight and destination. We will contact you for your approval of the additional amount if this occurs. may use the email or phone number provided on your Order to call or text you regarding Order Status or to inform you of changes to the Order Policy.

When your order ships we will send you a confirmation email with the delivery tracking information.

International Shipping

Shipping anything these days internationally is expensive. COVID resulted in more rigorous customs import processes, and now with much higher energy prices, international shipping rates are higher.

FedEx is the most reliable and faster carrier, at least for now, but they are expensive. Our FedEx international shipping fee is a minimum of $79.95. It usually makes more sense to get several months of supply (3 months or more) in one order to minimize the shipping expense per order over time. While the added weight of additional items may increase the base shipping price by a little (usually 10-25% depending upon total weight and destination), it is usually not by very much relative to shipping an additional small order later.

We also offer a lower-cost international shipping option using GlobalPost International for $39.95. So far, they have been reliable in getting packages correctly delivered but it takes 2 - 4 times as long to get the package delivered. Packages may take longer to process in the receiving country's customs process and status updates may not be reported as quickly. Please be patient if you choose this option to save money.

Some International orders may cost more to ship depending upon weight and location. If that happens we will contact you first and get your approval for any additional charge before proceeding. International orders may also be subject to additional customs fees and duties/taxes based upon the destination country's customs import laws and policies. These fees are NOT known or included on our order form and are typically charged and collected by the shipping carrier when they are delivering the product to it's final destination once the package has cleared the destination country's customs process. It is recommended that the buyer research custom import fees for the products/services they are importing beforehand to be aware of potential, additional fees.

Shipping Refrigerated Products

Our manufacturers formulate their probiotics to ensure their products retain viability until they reach the consumer. Probiotics that are recommended to be refrigerated remain so until the time of shipment, then shipped alongside an ice pack to ensure potency (Note: Ice pack will not arrive frozen, and product may not arrive cold). Orders placed on a Thursday-Sunday requiring cold shipping will not ship until the following Monday.


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Changes, Returns and Refunds

If you want to make a change to your order, please email us as soon as possible so we can make the change before your order ships. If your order has already shipped you may incur additional shipping charges for the second shipment and the return label for any products returned.

If we have made a mistake on your order, or the product arrives in a damaged or unusable condition, we will make every reasonable effort to right the situation quickly to your satisfaction. Problems of this nature must be reported to us within 5 business days of the package delivery date documented by the carrier status.

We accept returns subject to when the return is requested and the condition the product is returned in. All returns must first be authorized by contacting us. In your request, please let us know why you are returning the item(s). We will respond promptly with authorization, the return address, and a return shipping label if appropriate.

If your order has already shipped you can return any un-opened products within 30 days of receiving your order for a 100% refund of the price paid for the product, less the actual shipping charges we incurred to get the product to you originally and then returned, less a $10 restocking fee. Un-opened means the protective seal on the bottle or container, or the shrink-wrap on the box or kit, has not been broken and the product has not otherwise been damaged in any way. You may use the original packaging for the return or acquire your own. We will provide the return shipping label. We DO NOT accept returns for NuMedica products once the protective product seal has been broken.

Upon receipt of returned product(s), we will refund your credit card within three business days for the product(s) returned.