In Silicon Valley, the temple of entrepreneurship, an obsession with wellness (healthy eating, mindfulness, exercise, etc.) coexists with the glorification of stress and sleep deprivation. Its workplace culture extols extreme workaholism: trumpeting that working less than 18 hours a day “is for losers” (while a famous t-shirt says “9 to 5 is for the weak”). How can this proposition be advanced by an intelligent, highly data-literate community when it flies in the face of scientific evidence?
The world watched as Irma – the most powerful hurricane ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean – destroyed cities and islands that were wellness resort heavy. One can argue whether recent hurricanes were caused by climate change, but no scientist would dispute that it acts as a major amplifier. And it raises serious questions about wellness destinations currently located (and future developed) in places around the world most susceptible to increasingly severe weather events.
For decades, the medical world has argued that low-fat diets are the key to health. But a large new study (135K people, 18 countries) provides fresh evidence that that may be damaging info.
Compared with people who ate the lowest 20 percent of carbohydrates, those who ate the highest 20 percent had a 28 percent increased risk of death. People with the highest 20 percent in total fat intake had a 23 percent reduced risk of death. And higher fat diets were also associated with lower stroke risk.
Next May’s important Venice Architecture Biennale, whose theme is “Freespace,” will go beyond the visual aspects of architecture to focus on its human impact: meaningful public spaces and architecture’s role in nurturing daily life.
The GWI has just launched a Digital Wellness Initiative, which will bring together leaders from wellness, healthcare, technology, government, and education to serve as a think tank evaluating research and advocating for policy on the healthy use of technology – so that we have the right guidelines that allow us to maintain our non-digital humanity in the age of technology. The initiative chair is Jeremy McCarthy, group director of Spa & Wellness, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group