Updated: November 21, 2019

Have you been considering an entrance into the health and wellness career space? Are you waiting for the right time to begin your wellness career or wondering if there’s a market for your health coaching services? In this article, we explore the current landscape of the wellness industry as well as the increasing need for wellness leaders in the world today.

The Need for Health Coaches and Other Wellness Leaders

Did you know the world’s human population is increasingly unwell? Despite advances in medical sciences, obesity and chronic health problems continue to rise. According to the World Health Organization worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S., 6 in 10 adults have at least one chronic disease, and 4 in 10 have two.

Worldwide Rates of Chronic Diseases

The three main culprits behind the high rate of chronic illness in the U.S. are familiar ones: poor diet, sedentary lifestyles, and smoking. The CDC estimates that eliminating these three risk factors would prevent 80% of heart disease and stroke, 80% of type 2 diabetes, and 40% of cancer.

With such compelling statistics, it would seem that a vast improvement in the overall health of Americans is achievable. But so far, that has not been the case. The reason for this is because those three risk factors – poor diet, inactivity, and smoking – each have their own complications and challenges, and are pillars in our society. Combine this with the power of consumerism and marketing, and it’s easy to see why most Americans cannot just simply eat healthy, exercise, and avoid tobacco products. We need help.

“Now in my fiftieth year as a pediatrician, it’s only in the past five years that I’ve seen such concern among pediatricians that heart disease is occurring at a younger and younger age. My wish is that parents would take this trend seriously and realize the importance of feeding their children, from birth on, what we at the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute simply call the ‘real food diet.'” -Dr. Sears (Oct 26, 2017)

That’s why wellness professionals are needed more than ever. Americans require education, encouragement, and accountability in order to be healthy in the current environment. The demand for health coaches and other wellness leaders has never been higher. And the wellness industry is growing at an unprecedented rate to meet these needs.

The Wellness Industry is Booming and Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

The Global Wellness Institute reports that the global wellness economy is now a $4.2 trillion market. Here are the key sectors:

  • Personal Care, Beauty, and Anti-Aging ($1,083 billion)
  • Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss ($702 billion)
  • Wellness Tourism ($639 billion)
  • Fitness and Mind-Body ($595 billion)
  • Preventative and Personalized Medicine and Public Health ($575 billion)
  • Traditional and Complementary Medicine ($360 billion)
  • Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate ($134 billion)
  • Spa Economy ($119 billion)
  • Thermal/Mineral Springs ($56 billion)
  • Workplace Wellness ($48 billion)

In the wellness boom, we are witnessing a couple of things. One: the overwhelming desire of individuals to be physically healthy, stress-free, and happy. And two, perhaps not surprisingly: the race to capitalize on these desires. Marketing for wellness-related products is everywhere we turn: on billboards, on TV, on social media. With such powerful messaging all around us, it can be difficult to cut through the noise.

The Global Wellness Industry is Booming

The Commoditization of Wellness

The wellness boom might signal that the world is ready to become healthy, but many critics are unable to ignore the one glaring implication: that wellness is being made a commodity. Take Wellness Tourism (a $639 billion industry), for instance. Here we have vacations with a wellness twist. Many packages offer quiet environments, clean, healthy foods, and contact with nature, all of which, not too long ago, were fundamentals of human life. Not to say that wellness vacations aren’t enjoyable, or even the best kind of vacation, just that they are not required for wellness.

What about the Healthy Eating and Weight Loss sector? There have never been more meal-kit delivery services. Surely they are convenient, but again, not necessary. Such goods and the marketing behind them send the message that wellness is for the wealthy, when in fact wellness can, and should, be for everyone.

The Need for Health Coaches Today

The wellness space may be an intimidating industry. But, for individuals who sincerely want to contribute to others’ health and happiness, whether that’s through becoming a certified health coach, physical trainer, life coach, or other wellness professional, there has never been a more opportune time.

With the decline of dietary health and the rise of obesity and chronic illness, there has been a need for health coaches for a long time. The wellness boom serves as proof that there is a hungry market for wellness goods and services. But the more surprising and ironic fact about the wellness boom is that it has played a major role in creating an even more dire need for wellness educators and health coaching.

How Health Coaches Can Help

All the buzz surrounding wellness can be frustrating for individuals who are serious about pursuing healthier lifestyles. We may end up with the trendiest workout attire, new gadgets, and exercise machines, but fail to improve our health at all. Health coaches can help simplify wellness. They can educate their clients on the power of whole foods and physical activity – neither of which should be made into a commodity or be reserved for the upper class. And they can encourage and guide us on our journey to wellness.

So, yes, the wellness industry is buzzing, and nearly every wellness product and service imaginable is available. But health is still on the decline, and in 2020, we need guidance, support, and honest health information more than ever before.

Check out The Ultimate Guide on How to Become a Health Coach to learn more about health coaching.